On NY1’s Inside City Hall last night, mayoral contender Bill Thompson was asked whether the man who replaced him in the comptroller’s office, John Liu, can continue to hold onto his job in the face of criminal fundraising charges against his mayoral campaign.
“I think that any elected official, when there are any questions of any types of improprieties that are raised, it creates a bit of a distraction,” he replied. “I still think he can continue to do his job.”
Mr. Thompson emphasized that this distraction is not necessarily unique to Mr. Liu.
“I think, just like anybody else, it’s a bit of a distraction. I would say … I think the comptroller can continue to do his job,” he said again.
His remarks make him the fourth mayoral candidate to comment on Mr. Liu’s campaign treasurer, Jenny Hou, being arrested on charges of helping orchestrate an illegal fundraising scheme on Mr. Liu’s behalf.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s sole comment was avoiding the question completely. “There is an ongoing investigation into that matter and I just think it would be inappropriate for me to comment,” she said.
Her comments echo those of another 2013 contender, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer. “I think I’m going to comment in the future,” he said to Capital New York. “I don’t have anything to say today. Perhaps at a later date.”
The only mayoral candidate, besides John Liu, of course, who directly engaged the issue, was Manhattan Media CEO Tom Allon.
“The arrest of John Liu’s treasurer today is yet another example of how the political system in New York is flawed and potentially corrupts candidates and their staffs in their sprint to raise money,” he said in part of a formal statement on the matter.