After canceling a planned radio appearance on Friday, the mayor finally responded to the outcry over his failure to cite a domestic violence arrest as the reason for former deputy mayor Stephen Goldsmith’s early August resignation. Standing outside a Brooklyn church Sunday morning, Bloomberg said that he made “no apologies” for not initially discussing Goldsmith’s July altercation with his wife, Margaret, which he described as “treating the Goldsmith family with basic decency.” He said that, upon learning of the incident, it was “obvious” that Goldsmith would exit, and added that he has “long believed that public officials are all too willing to humiliate the people who work for them whenever it’s politically convenient or advantageous.”
Though his administration’s official announcement of the departure said only that Goldsmith was “leaving to pursue private-sector opportunities in infrastructure finance,” the mayor denied that it was part of a cover-up: “I always assumed that it would come out, but it’s not my responsibility to spread a story.” When reporters pressed him on the statement’s language, he remained stubborn:
We put out a statement that is consistent with what I just said, announcing that Mr. Goldsmith is no longer working for the city, and it did point out that he is now looking for a job in the private sector, as you would expect he would. He has an obligation to feed his family and he is going to try to do that.
Meanwhile, Goldsmith, who has said he quit in an effort to avoid becoming a “distraction” to the mayor, now seems sorry that everyone was not more up-front about the incident. In an email to the Times, he wrote:
As a former employee, I , not the mayor, should have more fully disclosed the reasons for my resignation. I thought the immediacy of my resignation mooted the need for further explanation. I was wrong. The lack of a fuller disclosure I now regret as I regret loss of my public service career and the intrusion my children have experienced.
Judging by the timing of the comments — the middle of a long weekend — it seems obvious that Bloomberg is hoping the scandal will fade out alongside the summer.