City Council Speaker Christine Quinn's disagreement with Mayor Michael Bloomberg over police department oversight is giving the Democrat a chance to prove herself independent during her party's primary. NY1's
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn is marching into battle against the mayor over a proposal for an inspector general for the New York City Police Department.
"We disagree on whether this piece of legislation is a good idea," Quinn said.
Quinn wants to add another watchdog over the police department.
She wants an inspector general, armed with subpoena power, that would examine broad police tactics, such as stop, question and frisk.
Quinn said it could help community relations.
Bloomberg disagreed, calling the plan "total politics" on his radio show Friday.
The mayor said it could actually trigger a rise in crime.
"It's the first time I've ever seen people who want to be the executive try to denude the office before they get it," Bloomberg said on his radio show Friday.
Bloomberg didn't blame Quinn by name on his radio show. Still, there was little doubt he was talking about her.
Quinn was having none of it at a hastily arranged news briefing Friday that enabled her to fire back.
"This bill, when it becomes law, would not, as Mayor Bloomberg said this morning, denude the mayor's authority," she said. "The claim that appropriate monitoring of the NYPD will compromise public safety is empty rhetoric."
Bloomberg and Quinn have a close relationship, but this is the second high-profile rift in two weeks.
Bloomberg stood with Bill de Blasio, one of her rivals in the mayor's race, during an event on banning large sugary drinks, which Quinn opposes.
Another City Hall candidate, William Thompson, said that when it comes to the police bill, Quinn is talking out of both sides of her mouth.
"It is interesting that the speaker has put this legislation forward, largely in response to the concerns about stop-and-frisk, where at the same point, she continues to say that's she's going to keep Commissioner Kelly," Thompson said.
Then, there's another big issue in this mayor's race: a bill that would require businesses to give workers at least five paid sick days a year. Quinn doesn't support the measure at the moment. She said it could lead to unintended consequences in a soft economy, such as higher unemployment.
Paid sick leave, however, has support among Democratic primary voters. That's leading some to suspect that Quinn is pushing for a police department inspector general to distract attention.