Did Mayor Bloomberg Select Christine Quinn As Speaker In 2006 ?
After Christine Quinn was named speaker, she appointed Michael Keogh to become the City Council finance director. In that position, Mr. Keogh would help the City Council negotiate the budget with City Hall. The appointment created a conflict of interest, because it was not known if Mr. Keogh's former role with the Bloomberg administration would compromise the City Council's independence in the budget process. Mr. Keogh had previously served as a member of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Office of State Legislative Affairs. In 2008, Mr. Keogh resigned after he was implicated in the slush fund scandal.
Mr. Keogh's initial selection followed a pattern of politically-motivated appointments that were seemingly made to reward the powerful political supporters, who had helped to broker Quinn's speakership. For example, after the party bosses in the Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn, had each helped Quinn to cinch the speakership, Quinn announced that powerful City Council committees would be chaired by members from the Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn delegations.
- Joel Rivera from the Bronx became chair of the Health Committee.
- Melinda Katz and David Weprin from Queens remained chairs of the Land Use and Finance Committees, respectively.
- Erik Dilan from Brooklyn was named chair of the Housing & Buildings Committee.
Voters often cite Speaker Quinn's subjugation to Mayor Bloomberg as one reason citizens are promising to vote for "Anybody But Quinn." Now, Flores asks in Chapter 8 of his book, Roots of Betrayal : The Ethics of Christine Quinn : when did Speaker Quinn make the deal to become Mayor Bloomberg's chief enabler in the City Council ? Did the deal get made during the time Quinn was negotiating her speakership with the political power brokers in late 2005 and early 2006 ? Was Mayor Bloomberg among the power brokers with whom Quinn negotiated her speakership ? Was Mr. Keogh's appointment as the powerful City Council finance director a way to reward Mayor Bloomberg for his support of Quinn's speakership ?