Another day, another humiliation for the amateur known as Bill de Blasio. It’s going to be a long three years before New Yorkers get to correct their disastrous mistake.
Mayor de Blasio ordered city lawyers to stay silent about a groundbreaking lawsuit to keep bootleg cigarettes out of the Big Apple — because it came as Hizzoner was downplaying the illegal cigarette sales that led to the ill-fated police arrest of Eric Garner, The Post has learned.
The city Law Department drafted the civil-racketeering suit the same week that a Staten Island grand jury did not indict NYPD cop Daniel Pantaleo in Eric Garner’s chokehold death, and it was quietly filed in Brooklyn federal court on Dec. 9.
The Law Department drafted a press release boasting that the suit “is the first of its kind brought by the city against an out-of-state entity for supplying cigarette traffickers,” sources said.
But City Hall suppressed the news, ordering the Law Department not to put out the release, according to the sources.
The move kept de Blasio from looking like a hypocrite for cracking down on illegal tobacco sales at the same time he was minimizing Garner’s criminal activity, which led to his deadly July 17 arrest.
“Eric Garner was a decent man. Obviously, it was a minor offense he was committing — there’s no way it should have ended up in this situation,” de Blasio told HOT 97 radio on Dec. 4, a day after the grand jury ruling.
One city official said, “City Hall knew they had screwed up, so they squashed the press release.
“You can’t have the mayor blabbing away that selling loosies is a ‘minor offense,’ but then have the Law Department, which represents and protects the city and the mayor’s interests, file this suit,” the official said. “It reeks of duplicity.”
The official, citing de Blasio’s “Tale of Two Cities” campaign rhetoric, added “the mayor has a problem with two cities, and he created it.”
“On one hand, to pander to his voting base, he spews some nonsense that selling loosies is a ‘minor offense,’” the official said.
He’s such an embarrassment.