Monday, September 15, 2014

Letitia James questions guard at de Blasio’s unoccupied home

Even a top political ally of Mayor de Blasio thinks the city needs to stop shelling out big bucks to keep the NYPD posted outside his unoccupied Park Slope rowhouse.
“I don’t understand why it’s still there,” Public Advocate Letitia James told The Post on Sunday.
“Assuming that they no longer live there, it appears to me that it’s a waste of money and the post should be removed.”
De Blasio and his family moved to Gracie Mansion on the Upper East Side from their Brooklyn home in July.
But in the two months since — as first reported by The Post — NYPD officers continue to man an air-conditioned guard post at a cost of roughly $277,000 a year.
The NYPD declined to comment on why a security detail remains, given the mayor’s new residence, and referred all questions to the mayor’s office.
But de Blasio spokesman Phil Walzak referred a reporter’s questions back to the NYPD — saying, “We don’t comment on security matters.”
James, a fellow Brooklyn Democrat, vowed during her campaign for public advocate last year to provide “checks and balances” on Hizzoner despite their shared leftist leanings. On Sunday, she said she is merely following up on that promise.
“It’s worthy of an inquiry,” she said. “If in fact they’ve relocated to Gracie Mansion, the question of why we’re spending money on security at that location remains.”
James will pursue the matter with the NYPD, but stopped short of saying her office would investigate.
Comptroller Scott String­er also passed the buck to the Police Department.
“Security is under the purview of the Police Department so I’m not going to comment,” he said.
De Blasio and wife Chirlane McCray returned to the neighborhood last week to cast their primary ballots and stopped by the home.
“I don’t know where the heck he’s living,” one council member said of the mayor. “Probably at both places.”
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