A John Liu rerun, with a dragon
Today's episode of the John Liu show looked a lot like yesterday's.
In another walking press conference, the embattled comptroller again gave polite non-answers to reporters’ questions after speaking at an event in Chinatown, this one the annual gala of a Brooklyn-based senior center.
Since the arrest this week of Liu's 25-year-old campaign treasurer Jenny Hou, reporters have surrounded the comptroller's public events, as the comptroller himself maintains a business-as-usual posture.
“Good to see you again, everybody,” Liu told group of waiting reporters and photographers as he arrived at the event. “Watch the glass doors.”
He went up an escalator and into a huge catering hall, where he stopped by each table to greet senior citizens. The reporter contingent crowded the aisles and followed him to a table, where he sat with Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes, Councilman Peter Koo and State Senator Marty Golden. (Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer were also listed on a seating chart, but didn’t appear.)
There were about 90 minutes of speeches and photo opportunities. During a Lunar New Year ceremony, Liu posed among some of the guests, while he dangled lettuce from a fishing rod. He spoke briefly, then left as the reporters, many waiting by the door, rode down the escalator with him.
“This was a wonderful event,” he said, when after reporters asked whether he’d been interviewed by investigators or was continuing to pay for his arrested aide's legal fees.
“Can you tell New Yorkers, are you blameless in this investigation? Do you feel you’ve done anything wrong?” another reporter asked.
“I feel very privileged to be in the position to serve New Yorkers,” Liu said.
He kept walking.
“Have you been meeting with Chung Seto?” a reporter from New York 1 asked, referring to Liu's longtime political consultant. “Are you worried that you may be implicated in this growing fund-raising scandal?”
Liu repeated that he was privileged to be in office, and added, “New Yorkers are the people that I answer to the most.”
Today’s walk was shorter than yesterday's, as Liu got into a car waiting a half-block away.
“Talk with you guys soon. Take care,” Liu said, and shut the door.
His car drove away on Elizabeth St.
“There’s another event at nine o'clock,” Liu's spokesman said.