Arrest of NYC Mayor’s Deputy Raises Issues of Public’s Right to Know


When a deputy mayor is arrested, does the public have a right to know? That question is being asked in New York, where Mayor Michael Bloomberg failed to reveal that a deputy, Stephen Goldsmith, had been arrested July 30 in Washington on a domestic violence complaint. Goldsmith, who spent about two days in police detention, immediately reported the arrest to Bloomberg. But when Goldsmith abruptly resigned five days later, the mayor's office said he was “leaving to pursue private-sector opportunities in infrastructure finance,” language that was reviewed by the mayor himself, reports the New York Times. The arrest was not mentioned.

On Thursday, Bloomberg's instinct to protect, rather than disclose, engulfed his administration in controversy, as prominent city officials harshly criticized his decision to keep the episode hidden from the public. Goldsmith, 64, is a former mayor of Indianapolis and a well-known expert on municipal government. Goldsmith's arrest, made over his wife's strenuous objections, was first reported by the New York Post. The story has roiled New York's political world, especially because the mayor has made government transparency and combating domestic violence priorities during his tenure.

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