Please visit the new home of Majikthise at bigthink.com/blogs/focal-point.

« Luis Montalvan on NPR's Morning Edition 11/28/07 | Main | Immigration chief Myers took question from plant »

November 28, 2007

Sneaky Giuliani billed obscure agencies for travel expenses

Ben Smith of the Politico has a great investigative scoop today. Smith used New York's Freedom of Information Law to obtain Rudy Giuliani's spending records as mayor.

The documents reveal that Giuliani racked up tens of thousands of dollars in security costs for personal business, and that his office billed these expenses to obscure city agencies:

The expenses first surfaced as Giuliani's two terms as mayor of New York drew to a close in 2001, when a city auditor stumbled across something unusual: $34,000 worth of travel expenses buried in the accounts of the New York City Loft Board.

When the city's fiscal monitor asked for an explanation, Giuliani's aides refused, citing "security," said Jeff Simmons, a spokesman for the city comptroller.

But American Express bills and travel documents obtained by Politico suggest another reason City Hall may have considered the documents sensitive: They detail three summers of visits to Southampton, the Long Island town where Nathan had an apartment.

Auditors "were unable to verify that these expenses were for legitimate or necessary purposes," City Comptroller William Thompson wrote of the expenses from fiscal year 2000, which covers parts of 1999 and 2000.

The letter, whose existence has not been previously reported, was also obtained under the Freedom of Information Law. [Politico]

As mayor, Giuliani was entitled to 24/7 police protection, no matter where he happened to be. So, there was nothing improper about bringing the NYPD on his weekend getaways.

Long trips and overnight stays with security do cost the city more in gas and lodging. For example, the city spent over a thousand dollars to put up for officers at the Atlantic Utopia Lifestyle Inn, according to the Politico. (You can't make this stuff up.) But that's not sinister, either. Even the mayor needs to get out sometimes. Nobody's suggesting that he should have been a prisoner in Gracie Mansion to save the city some money.

Still, Giuliani hasn't explained why he chose to bill these expenses to the New York Loft Board, Office for People With Disabilities, and the Procurement Policy Board. 

Why all the secrecy surrounding services that Rudy was entitled to anyway? The Politico's sources speculate that Giuliani's office didn't want to tarnish the boss's reputation for fiscal discipline, or let on that he was visiting his mistress on a regular basis. 

I hope that none of these agencies did without because the mayor's lifestyle was cutting into their budgets.

Here's are some municipal accounting questions: Would anyone those agencies have known that Giuliani was charging tens of thousands of dollars to their offices?  If any officials knew, did they break the rules by letting these illegitimate charges ride? If nobody noticed, it doesn't speak well of accounting standards under Giuliani.

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
https://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341c61e653ef00e54f9038f68833

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Sneaky Giuliani billed obscure agencies for travel expenses:

Comments

I have no problem with blow jobs as long as those involved are adults, and it's not on the taxpayers dime. Got a problem with that?

The problem with Rudy, was that it was not only on the taxpayers dime, it was on his wife-at-the-time's dime, as well on the Catholic Church's dime.

Do you get it now? Or not?

Female juniors? Hmmmm. They don't know their own minds...is that what you're saying?

Please be very, very, very specific, and define what you mean by a "female junior." Because if you are referring to female juniors, Monica Lewensky did not, and does not, and never did, fall under that category.

You right wingnuts need to get your act together. But since you're rightwingers in the first place, that just not going to happen.

Stop smoking crack. The few mental faculties that you once had are fading fast. Let me try to break it down so that even you can understand it.

a) Clinton was was Lewinsky's boss. That makes him the senior one.

b) Lewinsky was Clinton's employee. That makes him the junior one.

c) They had a consensual sex relationships/blow jobs on the side at the place of work

Is it OK for bosses to engage in some conduct?

Because any other boss in America would have been in severe trouble as a result of such activities with a subordinate.

The question requires a yes or no answer. Its that easy.


--Is it OK for bosses to engage in such conduct?--

-- Lewinsky was Clinton's employee. That makes her the junior one.--

Typing too fast. Sorry.

So if bosses and assistants/secretaries fall in love, that's a problem?

The problem is when a love affair is charged to the tax payer. GET IT? FUCK FACES?

*****

You rightwing republicans STILL don't get it. It's not a moral issue, except to the extant that rightwing republicans make it a moral issue, as they make every issue.

The fact is; it's a fiscal issue. So much for fiscal-libertarianism. Who wants to pay extra for security so that Rudy can have his sex/love affairs? Rudy could have just gone home to Gracie Mansion.

Phantom...the answer is no. If a boss and his secretary fall in love, or even just have sex, as long as it's between two adults, it's not the end of the world.

I'm assuming you're not talking about rape, and if you are, then come up with a specific. Rape is a heavy charge.

Are you saying that women who work for men don't know their own minds? That they don't know if they are being raped or not?

*****

We poor women "subordinates..."

Clinton did not fall in love with Lewinsky. He enjoyed the service that she provided. She was a moron who got played. There was never a love affair.

If you think that this is OK, then you should be aware that every corporation in America would fire the senior person in such a relationship the minute it came to light. Perhaps you and Dock can lead a campaign to undo the employment law that has evolved over the past 20 years and more. On some of it I would agree with you. Un

Congratulations on a most excellent threadjacking, Phantom. You must be very proud of this one. We must all seize any opportunity to bury our faces in Bill Clinton's crotch--it's the American Way.

Back to the subject at hand:

Unlike her predecessor as mayoral girlfriend, Mike Bloomberg's gal pal, investment banker Diana Taylor, has never had a separate police protection detail.
Taylor, 52, takes the bus every day to her midtown office and rides the subway to business appointments. In the six years Taylor and Bloomberg have lived together, she said she has never had reason to want or need personal NYPD security.

The gift that keeps on giving.

Re: Clinton. – There never would have been a grand jury for Clinton to lie to if the GOP hadn’t pulled out all the stops to guarantee there was one. In the old days, as soon as one party had the dirt on the Pres of the opposite party and before the press had it, some of the party leaders would have paid the president a visit and used the information to extort concessions on whatever key pieces of legislation they wanted passed. Instead Gingrich, DeLay, Hyde (RIP asshole), et al. decided they needed a constitutional crisis/circus and total polarization for the next decade. May they all die soon and eat dog shit in hell for eternity.

Re: Bosses fucking the help. - If either boss or employee is stupid enough to do so, fuck’em. I come to work in good faith and I don’t need fellow employees or bosses stacking the deck against the rest of us wage slaves. And if it really is “love” (gag) then resign or get a transfer or whatever.

Re: Gulliani’s billing practices. – I don’t care who he is, has, or will be porking - wife, mistress, girlfriend, paramour, or Farmer John’s Jersey heifer; I’m a sixties kid – free love and all that. What I don’t like about Rudy is that he seems to think he’s so personally valuable to all the rest of us who are not as bright as he is, that we should indulge him with our cash as well as our votes. He may be the best mayor there ever was, he may have reduced crime in Gotham to isolated incidences of jaywalking, he may be the Savior America so desperately needs, but his naked arrogance sticks in my craw.

Kvetch

Thank mudkitty for introducing Clinton into this thread.

cfrost

I agree that this was no Grand Jury matter. But you don't lie under oath to a Grand Jury. Even if you think it should not have been convened.

(Phantom, you gotta know how hollow and mechanical that sounds. Think of Principal Doody explaining to a high-schooler how they will not allow suggestive slogans on T-shirts in class, no exceptions.)

Which comment do you think you're addressing? You're not getting coaching from mudkitty on the side are you?

"Good comeback!"

Oops, forgot the limitations here with marks --


(Artie the Producer) "Good comeback!" (/Artie the Producer)

Guess you're saying that its OK to perjure yourself to a Grand Jury that you don't like. OK. At least I know where you're coming from.

Yeah, all Grand Jury investigations are the same. Yessir, Principal Doody, yessir.

What does this have to do with Giuliani? Clinton acted unethically, and his political enemies used a relatively minor indiscretion to derail the rest of his presidency.

As a general rule, supervisors shouldn't allow themselves to be drawn into sexual relationships with their underlings. Part of the responsibility of command is a duty to preserve the integrity of your organization. That means avoiding any involvements that might call your impartiality or your professional ethics into question. Sleeping with your underlings creates a real or perceived conflict of interest. As we saw in the Clinton case, these kinds of indiscretions leave the supervisor open to all kinds of negative professional repercussions.

Underlings have moral responsibilities, too. But when an underling comes onto the boss, it's the boss's responsibility to say "no" and let the employee know that their behavior is unprofessional.

That said, there's no reason to make a federal case out of apparently consensual sexual relations between a boss and an employee. In general, I don't think apparently consensual affairs should be firing offenses.

For the Republicans to exploit Clinton's bad judgment to paralyze the federal government was unconscionable. The harm that resulted from the prosecution was infinitely worse than the harm that resulted from the original transgression. Certainly, the Republican crusade did more to hurt Monica Lewinsky than the blow job.

What does any of this have to do with Giuliani using the NYPD to walk his mistress's dog?

>Part of the responsibility of command is a duty to preserve the integrity of your organization. That means avoiding any involvements that might call your impartiality or your professional ethics into question.

This is where Lindsay and I might disagree. I'm a human being first and foremost. What I do for a living comes in, well, not even second.

>As we saw in the Clinton case, these kinds of indiscretions leave the supervisor open to all kinds of negative professional repercussions.

They'll find some other sort of indiscretion, don't worry. The list is endless. What counts is the motive. Whom the gods would destroy, they first drive to police headquarters.

>What does any of this have to do with Giuliani using the NYPD to walk his mistress's dog?

I see the connection. Politics and extramarital shenanigans.

>Underlings have moral responsibilities, too. But when an underling comes onto the boss, it's the boss's responsibility to say "no" and let the employee know that their behavior is unprofessional.

And, I have to say, did you lift this from an employee's handbook found in a parallel universe? One populated by Bots and not people? Most "underlings" and "bosses" are more specific than this.

I'm talking about general principles. I agree that there may be extenuating circumstances in any given situation. Still, in general, bosses shouldn't sleep with their underlings. If they do, they're probably being bad bosses.

I'm not discounting the individual human element. The fact is, almost everyone will tell themselves that they can handle the situation, that their judgment won't be clouded, that their situation is special....

Now, you might argue that being a good boss is less important than pursuing some other objective, like true love or personal fulfillment--but that's a separate question.

I agree that this was no Grand Jury matter. But you don't lie under oath to a Grand Jury. Even if you think it should not have been convened.

Yes, you’re right, didling Lewinsky was his first idiotic mistake, and lying to a grand jury was his second.


What does this have to do with Giuliani?
What does any of this have to do with Giuliani using the NYPD to walk his mistress's dog?

Nothing actually, except as linked above and but for me helping to steer the thread off topic. Mea culpa for helping hijack the thread, but when I hear that old business about Clinton lying to a grand jury, I’m not about to leave that alone. See my comment above about the GOP congress deliberately and cynically polarizing the nation. It’s a measure of the damage the GOP did then that no discussion of any politician’s amorous indiscretions for the next thirty years will not loop back to Clinton. (Oh, and did you notice that the Idaho Statesman reports this weekend that two more men have claimed to have had sex with Senator Larry Craig? Fabrications I’m sure - there are no queers in the Gem State and, unlike Clinton, Republicans unzip their flies only to piss.)


>Part of the responsibility of command is a duty to preserve the integrity of your organization. That means avoiding any involvements that might call your impartiality or your professional ethics into question.
This is where Lindsay and I might disagree. I'm a human being first and foremost. What I do for a living comes in, well, not even second.

I might agree Dock, but for the fact that in the Clinton/Lewinski case we’re not dealing with Domino’s Pizza here but with the United States’ government and the largest military and economic power on earth. A mayor of New York has rather less responsibility, but he should remember to ask himself if the citizens of NYC voted for him or for his dick.

Even on very far less important scales romantic “indiscretions” in a professional context are more than just a little annoying: I had a professor once who was not only screwing the prettier students, but would blow the 8:00 am class off to sleep in with them. The course was supposed to cover pre-Columbian, Mesoamerican religion/mythology. Instead, we’d get an hour of study time and now every time I see a picture of an Olmec head or the pyramids of Teotihuacán I’m a little pissed off.

Cfrost...you wouldn't have complained if it had been you who got to sleep in, embraced in the arms of Eros. You're just envious.

*****

Attraction between younger women and older males, and younger men and older women, is natural...as in nature.

Attraction between people who work together, especially when they work closely together, is natural.

Attractions between doctors and nurses, doctors and patients, nurses and patients, is natural.

Attraction between students and professors, is natural.

Attraction between the powerful, and less powerful, is natural.

These natural attractions are why religious fundamentalists of all stripes shroud, segregate,
restrict, control, subjugate, stone, kill, and otherwise abuse women. (I was going to write "their woman" but I thought better of it.)

Attraction is normal and natural, of course. The question is how to deal with those feelings.

I agree that the specific circumstances matter a great deal. For example, I don't see why a professor and an 18-year-old student shouldn't date, as long as the professor finds a way to recuse herself from directly evaluating the student. It's just not fair to the other students to create that kind of conflict of interest.

People find ways to negotiate these potential conflicts all the time. It's not a choice between "do whatever you feel like" and "abandon all hope." Often, it's possible to wait until the end of the semester, or request a transfer for a different Domino's, or enroll in a different biochem section.

Whatever rules we set, there are going to be people who get carried away in the heat of passion. If there's no evidence of harm, they should be left alone. When the relationship starts to impinge on other people, it might be time to act. For example, if a prof is flaunting her relationship with a student and damaging the morale in her classes, the department chair should probably have a few words with her.

Being ethical means balancing all your responsibilities. Some occupations are more than just work for hire. If you're responsible for other people, you can't just casually blow off those obligations because you feel like having an affair.

If somebody ditches work responsibilities -- to have sex, get stoned, play golf, or watch the total eclipse of the sun -- it's bad. But it's the ditching itself that's the trouble, not why they're doing it.

And while I think "the personal is political" can and has been sadly abused, there's a persistent knot of truth in it and I prefer the modern era of more openness about elected officials (and resent that Supreme Court Justices now seem to be about the only heavyweights in Washington who can take any damn kind of medication they want and not explain nothin' to nobody). Would it have altered JFK presidency if the public had known he was such a compulsive horndog and zonked by way more drugs than anybody suspected? Can't say. But the string of revelations sure caused dropped jaws around here ... and finally explained why Jackie seemed to get over him so fast.

The comments to this entry are closed.