Mayor Bloomberg Friday offered a simple explanation for how the bloated CityTime project became a nest of fraud.
"You can't look every place," the mayor said on his weekly WOR radio appearance. "I'm not trying to excuse it. It is something we certainly should focus on. On the other hand, if you want to know how big projects have big things that slip through the cracks, this is as good an example as you need."
In response, critics wondered how such a debacle could occur under the nose of a mayor who prides himself on his managerial skills.
Investigators say the alleged ringleader of the conspiracy, Mark Mazer, had unusual access to Bondy during the project. A lawyer for Mazer insisted yesterday that his client made no payments to Bondy.
"Joel Bondy did not receive a dollar from my client," said attorney Gerald Shargel. "Plainly stated, there was no corruption. The relationship between Mr. Mazer and Mr. Bondy was well within ethical and legal boundaries."
The DOI investigation alleges Mazer and three other computer consultants stole millions of taxpayer dollars by inflating consultant hours and fees and funneling the profits through a network of shell corporations.
Some shells were set up by Mazer's wife and mother, both of whom were arrested.