New York City is lucky it got ripped off hundreds of millions of dollars in the CityTime scandal, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said this morning.
Mr. Bloomberg’s argument was that because the fraudsters agreed to pay the city back $500 million after being hounded by federal prosecutors and the city’s Department of Investigation, the project of modernizing the municipal payroll system ended up being a bargain.
“That whole system cost us something like only a 100 million dollars and it should have been many times that,” he said. “We were lucky because of the fraud. And in the end it turned out, because of the recovery, we saved a lot of money.”
The mayor arrived at this topic after defending the city’s much-maligned 911 system, which has been barraged with reports of dysfunction and shutdowns. Mr. Bloomberg compared the two cases and maintained the system was working just fine.
“When was the last time you heard a complaint about the basic accounting system for the municipal workforce that has something like two thirds of all municipal workers on it? Not one. Not one complaint,” he said, later adding, “It certainly works and this 9/11 system certainly works as well. Will there be glitches? Computer systems all the time have glitches. Nothing’s perfect.”