Mayor Giuliani snapped off a defiant reply to state Controller Carl McCall’s complaint that the city improperly blocked two state auditors from checking on city agencies: See you in court.
Stepping up a long-running political feud, Giuliani accused McCall of misusing the controller’s office by flooding city agencies with performance audits that far exceed McCall’s authority.
Giuliani vowed to fight a promised McCall legal challenge over the decision to stop the state auditors from analyzing records at city health and social services offices on Friday.
“We are happy to meet him in court,” Giuliani said, citing a 1977 state court ruling that he said restricts McCall’s office to financial audits. “The fact is he has no right under the Constitution of the state to do performance audits of the city.”
The Republican mayor, who is seeking reelection in November, charged that the Democratic controller had launched numerous audits in a bid to cost him votes at the polls.
“This isn’t looking at the books, the accounts and the records of the city,” Giuliani said. “These are audits to create negative, political audits that he’ll release in August, September and October.”
McCall fired back, insisting that his office was fulfilling its oversight role by auditing delivery of city services.
“The mayor has yet to deal with the substance of any audit,” said McCall. “He has not identified any particular audit that was inaccurate, or incomplete. All we get is the response that it’s political. And I say, ‘Where is the evidence?’ ”
McCall said his office would seek court subpoenas to get city records needed to complete the audits. The audits focus on the city’s screening of welfare applicants and handling of requests for birth and death certificates.
While gearing up for reelection, Giuliani has touted his success in shrinking the welfare rolls and speeding response to requests for copies of birth certificates.
He vowed to block McCall from conducting any further audits at least until after this year’s mayoral election.
“If he wants to subpoena records for these broad-based performance audits, we are happy to test our legal position in court,” Giuliani said.
Original Story Date: 033097