Bloomberg Versus Thompson Again

A week after winning reelection, Mayor Bloomberg has sued Bill Thompson.

So was an electoral victory not enough? Is there bitterness over some campaign stunt?

Not exactly.

At first glance, it appears to be a bit less exciting than the names of the lead plaintiff and lead defendant might suggest (although the details of the case have yet to be posted online).

The suit, filed Monday, according to filings listed on the state courts website, is an Article 78 proceeding, an action that typically challenges an agency or administrative ruling. It was filed by the Bloomberg administration (as opposed to the Bloomberg campaign) against the city comptroller and former mayoral candidate, and a spokeswoman for the Law Department said yesterday evening that the case centered around a labor issue, though at the time, details were not immediately available.

This morning, Jeff Simmons, a Thompson spokesman, e-mailed to say that the issue centered around whether the job of “City Laborer” was subject to the labor law, and whether or not the comptroller’s office should determine the prevailing wage:

This lawsuit was commenced on Monday, in which the Mayor was trying to stop our office from conducting  a labor law hearing to determine the prevailing wages for City Laborer, a title represented by DC 37 and its affiliate Local 924, based on the notion that this office does not have jurisdiction over this title under the Labor Law.

However, back in 1984, OLR [Office of Labor Relations] and DC 37 agreed that the title would be subject to the Labor Law and for the last 18 years, OLR has entered into consent determinations with respect to the wages and benefits to be paid workers in that title which acknowledged our jurisdiction under the Labor Law.

Late Wednesday, Justice Sherwood rejected the Mayor’s request to stop the hearing and dismissed his claims. 

[UPDATE: A Law Department spokeswoman called to clarify that the case is, in fact, proceeding. The action late Wednesday was over the city’s request for a temporary restraining order, which the judge did not approve].

Such an action appears to be rare. A search in the state’s online court database shows no other lawsuits with Bloomberg as a lead plaintiff and Thompson as the defendant. Thompson, however, has sued the Bloomberg administration before on a number of occasions, including over the House of Detention in Brooklyn and over a contract with Snapple.

  Bloomberg Versus Thompson Again