Michael Bloomberg announced this morning he’s hired two new commissioners.
The first is Cas Holloway, who will lead the Department of Environmental Protection. Bloomberg noted Cas worked a few desks away from him inside the City Hall bullpen, where Holloway was chief of staff to Deputy Mayor Ed Skyler. (Skyler and Holloway [and Bradley Tusk too!] worked together at the Parks Department under Henry Stern.)
At a press conference in the Blue Room this morning, Bloomberg was asked why it took 13 months to fill the vacancy with the person a few feet away from him.
“Because we really do take this seriously,” said Bloomberg. “We do nationwide searches” and “we had some candidates I thought could have done an excellent job but didn’t quite have the array of skill sets I think this department needs.”
The other commissioner announced today is Vinny Schiraldi, who will lead the Department of Probations. Bloomberg hired Schiraldi away from the Washington D.C. Department of Youth and Rehabilitation Services.
Schiraldi said he wanted to focus on juveniles in the criminal justice system, and noted that New York is one of only two states, along with North Carolina, where children as young as 16 years old are considered adults when it comes to probation.
Later, I asked Schiraldi if he’d seek to change that. He said he hadn’t discussed the issue with the mayor, and said Albany, where the law would need to be changed, is an “interesting” place, so it was unclear if he’d tackle that issue first.
16- and 17-year-olds can actually get “less supervision” when they’re treated as adults on probation, which often does not serve to help rehabilitate them, said Schiraldi.