After his victory lap this week for his handling of the hurricane, Mayor Michael Bloomberg became swept up in a political storm Thursday after it was revealed his No. 2 – former Deputy Mayor Stephen Goldsmith – resigned following his arrest in a domestic dispute involving his wife.
The drumbeat of politicians – including Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, Public Advocate, Bill de Blasio and Council Speaker Christine Quinn – asking for an explanation to Goldsmith’s departure grew louder Thursday, with no public comment from Bloomberg.
“Facts relevant to his termination should be made public," Quinn said.
Stringer stressed that the public should know why Goldsmith quit because the position itself oversees the NYPD, which investigates domestic violence.
“’No comment’ is not an acceptable response,” Stringer said.
A mayoral spokesman would only say “it was clear to the mayor and Mr. Goldsmith that he could no longer serve at City Hall, regardless of his guilt or innocence.”
Goldsmith’s departure on Aug. 4 was believed to be due, in part, to the city’s botched handling of last December’s blizzard.
The former mayor of Indianapolis, who was tapped for the post in April 2010, tendered his resignation 14 months later to “to pursue private-sector opportunities in infrastructure finance,” City Hall said.
A July 30 police report details an altercation between Goldsmith, 64, and his wife, Margaret, 59, in their Washington home. They fought verbally, then he shoved her into a kitchen counter, threw a phone from her hands and grabbed her, refusing to let her go, according to the report.
She dug her nails into his forearms and she fled to call police, the report states. Goldsmith was jailed for two days for “simple assault domestic violence.” The charge was later dropped.
The couple on Thursday said the incident, which was first reported in the New York Post, was a misunderstanding.
“There was no crime committed by Stephen or myself; there was neither violence nor any physical harm,” Margaret Goldsmith said in a statement.
Stephen Goldsmith said he offered his resignation “in order not to be a distraction to the mayor and his important agenda for the city.”
Political consultant Joseph Mercurio, however, said the mayor owes voters an explanation.
“If [the altercation] didn’t really happen, then why did he have to resign?” Mercurio asked. “This makes the mayor look like a putz.”