New York City Mayor de Blasio has been attacked from all sides this week. He got flack for continuing to buy gas from the companies he is suing, he got some bad press for taking a taxpayer-funded trip to Atlanta and a Daily News editorial accused him of sexually harassing his wife when the pair first met as City Hall staffers. But none of those compare to how de Blasio’s week ended. That and more in this week’s headlines.
Weeks after New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña announced her retirement, Mayor Bill de Blasio had finally named her replacement, Alberto Carvalho, coming by way of Miami-Dade County Public Schools where he serves as superintendent of the fourth-largest school district in the nation. But in a shocking turn of events – televised live in a drawn-out affair – Carvalho said he would not take the job and would instead stay in Miami. He stepped out in the middle of his broadcast to break the news to de Blasio by phone. Mayoral spokesman Eric Phillips said on Twitter that Carvalho had agreed to take the position over a week ago, adding: “Bullet dodged.” Carvalho’s stunning decision came after local residents at the school board meeting pleaded with him to stay.
That’s the way the ziti crumbles
After a long and revealing month, the defense quickly rested its case and closing arguments were delivered in the corruption trial of former Gov. Andrew Cuomo aide Joseph Percoco and several business executives. Percoco’s lawyer Barry Bohrer defended his client as more of a foot soldier than the governor’s right-hand man. Stephen Coffey, an attorney for one of Percoco’s co-defendant’s, called key prosecution witness Todd Howe a “walking, talking reasonable doubt” in closing arguments. The prosecution, meanwhile, honed in on Percoco’s continued use of the word “ziti” to mean bribes, saying, “This is how criminals talk.” The jury deliberations, which began on Thursday, are set to resume on Monday.
No budging on guns
Democrats in the state Senate tried to force their Republican colleagues to vote on gun control measures by tacking them onto bills already up for votes as what are known as hostile amendments. The proposals included banning bump stocks, expanding background checks and allowing a judge to take away the guns of a mentally ill person. But Republicans were able to avoid a vote on any of the amendments, while calling instead for more armed guards at schools.
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