Bloomberg Administration Official Offers Qualified Defense of Quinn's 'Parking' Practice

City Finance Commissioner Martha Stark isn’t sure how much wrongdoing there actually was in connection with the recently discovered slush

City Finance Commissioner Martha Stark isn’t sure how much wrongdoing there actually was in connection with the recently discovered slush fund at the City Council.

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Speaking last night on The Perez Note, an online radio show hosted at LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City, Stark said [around the 14:20 mark], “I can’t figure out what, if anything, went wrong. And I’m not sure when all is said and done that anything did.”

She added, “It never seemed that a check was cut to a false organization. This is discretionary money. That is exactly what our budget and our system is set up to do. We give elected officials, whether it’s a borough president, or the speaker of the Council members, a certain amount of money that they can, in their discretion, both give out to groups in their neighborhood and the like."

For City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, it’s no small thing to have a financial official giving her the benefit of the doubt. It’s significant, though, that the praise is coming from the administration that Quinn has tried to associate herself with so closely since taking over leadership of the Council.

Stark also spoke about her own political future, ruling out running for city comptroller in 2009, saying, “It’s a great office, it’s just not what gets me excited.” She added, “I would say I’m 99 percent certain I don’t want to do it. I’m not sure what the 1 percent difference is.”

Also: She had some advice for young people.

“I think you need to do everything in your power not to feel foreign in the world, right? Not feel alone,” she said. Recalling advice she gave her own niece, Stark said, “When we poop, it stinks. And when we smile, it lights up the world.”

[NOTE: The headline on this piece has been changed from the original.]

Bloomberg Administration Official Offers Qualified Defense of Quinn's 'Parking' Practice