Not Seizing the Martha Stark Moment

The abrupt departure of Commissioner Martha Stark from the Bloomberg administration amid investigations into her hiring practices at the city Finance Department creates, in theory, a political opportunity for opponents of the mayor.

But Bloomberg's leading opponent, City Comptroller Bill Thompson, has yet to say anything publicly about Starks’s resignation, which was made public at 4 p.m. yesterday.

This could be because Stark, whose actual performance in the post was never criticized in any meaningful way, still has some vocal supporters among elected Democratic officials. Thompson's campaign may also be reluctant to make any pronouncements about ethics at all, in part because of attention recently focused on his own office.

Two days ago, it was reported that three former aides to Thompson now work at companies doing business with the city’s pension fund, which Thompson oversees. No one alleged anything illegal in their interaction, but it's a practice that has fallen out of favor in light of the widening investigation into Hank Morris and the state pension funds under the control of Alan Hevesi's office.