11:16 am Oct. 12, 2012
One of the arguments Mayor Michael Bloomberg has against creating an inspector general's office to investigate possible wrongdoing within the New York Police Department is that the agency is already subject to enough scrutiny from the "very aggressive media," five county district attorneys and other law-enforcement officials whose jurisdictions include New York City.
One of those bodies that has oversight of the NYPD is the New York City Council, which on Wednesday held a hearing about several public safety bills, including the one about the inspector general's office.
Joe Kemp of the Daily News was the first to report that the "NYPD brass declined to testify."
Yesterday, I talked about with City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who convened Thursday's hearing. She confirmed the NYPD was asked to attend but her reaction to the department's refusal to testify was relatively muted.
At the hearing, City Councilman Jumaane Williams said the NYPD's absence was "disrespectful."
According to the City Charter, the Council does have the power to compel city employees to attend hearings, though it's a power that's rarely been used.
From the charter:
"Any standing or special committee shall have power to require the attendance and examine and take testimony under oath of such persons as it may deem necessary and to require the production of books, accounts, papers and other evidence relative to the inquiry."