Mayor Michael Bloomberg is refusing to confirm that he stayed in Bermuda hours after Sunday's train derailment, sticking to his long-held policy that his private schedule is off limits - a practice that his successor, Bill de Blasio, says he won't continue. NY1's Josh Robin filed the following report.
There was no sign of golf elbow as Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed bills on Monday afternoon.
There was also no acknowledgement that a day earlier, the mayor was hitting the links at a Bermuda course just after the deadliest train accident in New York in more than two decades.
"You just have to check the public schedule for where I am at any point in time, and it will certainly tell you anything that's germane to the job," he said.
His schedule didn't list anything other than a taped radio address.
The Wall Street Journal reports that he was golfing Sunday until 1 p.m. The derailment was at about 7:20 a.m.
Bloomberg said that he'd do nothing different.
"Was in constant communications with my commissioners, who were there to do the job," he said. "They're supposed to show up and they're supposed to do it."
The mayor also said that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is run by Governor Andrew Cuomo. They don't share the podium much, especially during Hurricane Sandy.
This isn't the first time that Bloomberg has been absent during key moments in the city, and his weekend whereabouts have occasionally been sources of controversy during the last 12 years.
Six weeks into his job, Bloomberg sported a suntan and a scowl as he refused to confirm that he was also at his island abode.
It boiled over in the frozen winter of 2010, when Bloomberg also was said to have been in Bermuda as a blizzard plowed into the city.
Bloomberg usually does rush back, like he did when police thwarted a terrorism plot in 2010.
Monday evening, he visited injured passengers. He didn't alert reporters.
"I think Mike Bloomberg, to some extent, believes that it's grandstanding for a mayor or a governor, or even a president, to turn up at a site of an accident or a tragedy," said Bloomberg biographer Joyce Purnick.
His successor, Bill de Blasio, won't criticize the current mayor's policy, but he did say that he would have acted differently in this situation.
"My instinct in these things is to be present, even if the city is not the lead," he said. "Obviously, it's a bit of a case-by-case situation, but in this case, I would have been."
De Blasio also said, "broadly speaking," that he'll be more revealing about weekend plans.