Bloomberg Says Support for NYPD Watchdog Won't Swing His Mayoral Vote

By Jill Colvin on March 27, 2013 2:09pm 

 Mayor Michael Bloomberg celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the city's ban on smoking in bars and restaurants on March 27, 2013 near Union Square at the Old Town Bar.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the city's ban on smoking in bars and restaurants on March 27, 2013 near Union Square at the Old Town Bar.
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DNAinfo/Jill Colvin

UNION SQUARE — Mayor Michael Bloomberg strongly opposes installing a new inspector general to oversee the NYPD, saying the move would jeopardize public safety — but that hasn't changed who will get his vote to succeed him as mayor.

"I know who I'm going to vote for. And I may change my mind between now and then. And if I do, you're not gonna know about it," Bloomberg told reporters Wednesday, when asked whether candidates' support for a bill to install an NYPD inspector general would influence his vote.

Bloomberg has spent the past week threatening that installing an inspector general would put the public and officers at risk by undermining the police commissioner's authority.

But he said Wednesday that a candidate's support of the measure wasn't necessarily a deal-breaker.

"I haven't really thought about that," he said when the question was posed at a press conference at the Old Town Bar near Union Square called to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of laws barring smoking in bars and restaurants.

"I think when you support candidates, you look at the totality of their views. You're not gonna agree with anybody on everything, and so you're gonna to have make some compromises," he said.

Bloomberg revealed earlier this month that he knows exactly who he wants to succeed him as mayor in 2014 — but so far he has refused to spill the beans.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who is typically thought to be Bloomberg's pick, threw her support behind the inspector general legislation last week, and said she was confident she had the support in the council to override a veto by the mayor.

MTA Chairman Joe Lhota, the Republican frontrunner, who recently received a campaign contribution from Bloomberg's daughter, has said he believes the bill is misguided.

Bloomberg also chastised reporters for asking about his pick, growing more frustrated as the question was asked again and again.

"You want me to say it a third time?" he asked, stating that, no matter how many times the question was asked, "You're not going to get a different answer."

Bloomberg also took the opportunity to reiterate his warnings about the inspector general plan.

"I just find it inconceivable — incomprehensible is a better word — that given the progress that we've made in making these streets safe, we would run risks of tampering with it," he said.

Since he is not registered with a party, Bloomberg cannot vote in either the Democratic or Republican primary.

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