The reason, as reported yesterday, was a domestic violence incident for which he was arrested. But when the Bloomberg administration announced deputy Stephen Goldsmith’s resignation in July, the official language said he was “leaving to pursue private-sector opportunities in infrastructure finance.” At the time, it seemed like cover-up language, but for a less sinister problem: Goldsmith simply hadn’t proved to be very good at his job, and clashed with unions and other city officials. Many assumed that’s why he’d been pushed out. But Bloomberg himself reviewed the announcement, with full knowledge of the real reason Goldsmith was leaving, and reportedly was very concerned with allowing Goldsmith to “characterize the move on his own terms,” says the Times.
The incident is shaping up to be a major PR problem for the mayor. His administration has made curbing domestic violence a priority, to general praise from domestic violence groups. This time, though, they’re sharply critical of the mayor for letting his deeply held premium on loyalty get in the way of transparency; Goldsmith isn’t the first embattled employee Bloomberg has stuck by — it’s a point of pride for the mayor — but the failure to disclose this time is what’s getting him in trouble.
Goldsmith, for his part, explained on Thursday that he resigned so that the arrest wouldn’t “be a distraction to the mayor.” Whoops. One last parting misjudgment.