Thursday, September 1, 2011

Former New York Deputy Mayor Stephen Goldsmith claims he resigned over domestic violence arrest

BY Jonathan Lemire

Thursday, September 1st 2011, 10:38 AM

Stephen Goldsmith offered his resignation to Bloomberg on Aug. 4, just days after the arrest.
Mariela Lombard for News
Stephen Goldsmith offered his resignation to Bloomberg on Aug. 4, just days after the arrest.

Former Deputy Mayor Stephen Goldsmith, who unexpectedly stepped down last month, revealed he resigned days after he was arrested for roughing up his wife - a charge she now disputes.

Goldsmith - one of Mayor Bloomberg's top aides who most believed quit after botching the city's response to the December blizzard - was taken into custody at his Washington, D.C., home the night of July 30 after his wife Margaret called the cops.

But Margaret Goldsmith now denies that her husband abused her and insists the arrest was a misunderstanding.

"There was no crime committed by Stephen or myself; there was no violence nor any physical harm," said Margaret Goldsmith in a statement released Thursday. "There were no injuries. There has never been any kind of domestic assault or violence in our marriage."

According to a police report, the couple quarreled loudly in their Georgetown home, and Stephen Goldsmith shoved his wife after she threatened to call 911.

When police arrived at 11:30 p.m., they arrested Stephen Goldsmith, the former mayor of Indianapolis, on a charge of "simple assault domestic violence."

That charge was dropped two days later when Margaret Goldsmith told prosecutors she did not want to cooperate further - and she disputed the police report that the couple's fight turned violent.

"Upon reading the report, I immediately took steps to set the record straight and swore under oath that there was no physical harm and no crime was committed," said Margaret Goldsmith, who claimed she tried to stop cops from making the arrest at the time.

"Because - according to the officers - D.C. law required an arrest, one was made over my strong objections and numerous appeals to the officers," she said in the statement.

Goldsmith offered his resignation to Bloomberg on Aug. 4, just days after the arrest.

"Although Margaret under oath has affirmed the absence of violence and my actual innocence," said Stephen Goldsmith in a statement released Thursday, "I offered my resignation in order not to be a distraction to the mayor and his important agenda for the city."

Washington police confirmed the arrest but would not comment on the Goldsmiths' claim that the events of the night were misrepresented.

Goldsmith, who was hired with much hype to be the city's Deputy Mayor of Operations, only spent 15 months on the job.

He became a controversial figure when he infamously tweeted "GOOD SNOW WORK" when the paralyzing blizzard descended on the city just after Christmas - even though he was in Washington.

When he quit last month, media speculation held that he was pushed out for his handling of the blizzard - a charge the Bloomberg administration did not dispute.

Bloomberg said at the time the city was "extraordinarily lucky" for Goldsmith's service. The mayor's office declined to comment Thursday on the arrest.

Goldsmith, who taught at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, is also slated to teach a class at Columbia University this fall. Calls to the university were not immediately returned.

He was recruited by Bloomberg to help re-invent and streamline city government, but he struggled with fixing debacles like CityTime and he frequently clashed with agencies and unions alike.

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