Chirlane McCray shot down a story alleging she told her husband, Mayor Bill de Blasio, they could not trust Police Commissioner Bill Bratton after the resignation of a high-ranking black police official — saying she didn’t even think such a thing.
“The truth is, I didn’t say those things, we didn’t have a conversation, and I didn’t even think those things,” Ms. McCray told reporters after voting with Mr. de Blasio in Park Slope this afternoon. “I have great admiration for Commissioner Bratton. I really look forward to working with him in the coming weeks and months. And I don’t know who dreamed up that conversation.”
Ms. McCray was speaking about a New York Post story her husband already vehemently denied — which alleged that she was “furious” Chief of Department Philip Banks, who the Post said was her pick for commissioner, had stepped down. “I told you we can’t trust him!” the paper quoted her yelling about Mr. Bratton, per sources.
The first lady said the conversation never even happened.
“Quite frankly I didn’t have time that day to have a conversation with my husband,” she insisted.
Mr. Banks said Sunday night he chose to step down days before being promoted to first deputy commissioner, a job many have said is largely stripped of its former powers, because he felt it would take him away from policing and operations work — and that he and Mr. Bratton were unable to “bridge that gap.”
While many elected officials and advocates have reacted with anger or concern to Mr. Banks’ resignation — and while minority law enforcement groups have argued he was forced out — Ms. McCray today downplayed her own response.
“I have great admiration for the commissioner. It’s too bad things didn’t work out the way they were supposed to,” Ms. McCray said, “but we move on.”
Ms. McCray has previously shot down the story on her Tumblr blog and in a Daily News op-ed.
Ross Barkan contributed reporting.