Thompson Subpoenas Bloomberg Administration

Bill Thompson’s office has subpoenaed Michael Bloomberg’s administration and a private consultant over their refusal to turn over a report on the city’s efforts to boost contracts with women- and minority-owned businesses.

Thompson says he’s requested a copy of the report numerous times, but has not received it.

The subpoenas were sent to the Department of Small Business Services, and to the contractor, Milller3, based in Atlanta.

A spokeswoman for the S.B.S. did not immediately comment.

“My office has repeatedly asked for these reports for weeks, but has only met resistance,” Thompson said in a statement. “It begs the question: What is City Hall hiding?”

It’s an unusually aggressive move by Thompson, who has not issued many of these subpoenas during his time in office. It’s also unusual that the Bloomberg administration is refusing to turn over information. Bloomberg has made transparency and data-driven accountability a hallmark of his tenure in office, and he considers bringing both to City Hall among his major accomplishments.

Bloomberg’s record on boosting women- and minority-owned business was called into question in a lengthy June 2008 story by Wayne Barrett, who wrote that “it's not clear that anyone” at the Department of Small Business Services is working on this issue. The article goes on to quote officials like City Councilman James Sanders, who said, "I'm growing to believe that there wasn't an honest spirit" from Bloomberg on this issue.

UPDATE: S.B.S. spokeswoman Laura Postiglione emailed to say, “We received the subpoena yesterday and we intend to provide the requested documents today.”

“SBS has been working with the Comptroller’s office for more than nine months regarding this programmatic audit on the M/WBE program. We have fully cooperated during this entire process and we have provided the comptroller’s office with documents as well as access to files and interviews with our staff.”