Good Morning
Good Morning
NewsNew York

De Blasio won't be asked to handle groundhog after death last year

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is shown in this Feb. 2, 2014 file photo with Staten Island Chuck. Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

Mayor Bill de Blasio has long supported police reform and education reform. Wednesday, he came out for Groundhog Day reform.

De Blasio, who accidentally dropped one of the iconic rodents on Staten Island on the first Groundhog Day of his administration, Feb. 2, 2014, wants new rules for next month's holiday. Charlotte, the injured groundhog, died a week later.

"I must say, last time, there was not an overwhelming amount of preparation and orientation before I was handed him, may he rest in peace," a smiling, laughing de Blasio said at an unrelated news conference. "I think reform is needed, I welcome a new approach."

Charlotte's untimely demise was kept secret for months, until a tabloid report based on anonymous zoo sources revealed not only the death but that zoo officials quietly substituted what was supposed to be a male named Chuck for Charlotte, hoping for a less feisty animal.

A necropsy concluded that Charlotte perished of "sudden internal injuries."

Reality TV star and former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin tore into the mayor earlier this week over the death.

"He just -- doggonit -- he killed a groundhog when he dropped it last year," she told NBC's "Today" show.

More news