The Real Deal New York

Council, City Hall argue over early end to Shorris hearing

Deputy mayor left hearing over Rivington House after two-and-a-half hours - but did he lie?
September 30, 2016 08:37AM

From left: Melissa Mark-Viverito, Rivington House and Anthony Shorris

From left: Melissa Mark-Viverito, Rivington House and Anthony Shorris

In the aftermath of Thursday’s hearing on the Rivington House scandal, reps for the Mayor and City Council speaker traded barbs over an alleged attempt to “mislead” the chamber.

Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris testified for two-and-a-half hours. A spokesperson for speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito later told the Wall Street Journal that Shorris had said he could not stay longer than that because he was heading to a mayors’ conference in Oklahoma.

“This turned out to be false,” the spokesperson wrote in an email. “At a hearing which focused on government honesty and transparency this is particularly shocking and unacceptable.”

But according to a City Hall spokesperson, it was all just a big misunderstanding: Shorris had never said he would go to Oklahoma. He merely said he would have to leave early because of his duties as acting mayor while de Blasio is in Oklahoma. “The council owes Tony Shorris an apology,” the spokesperson added.

At the hearing, Shorris apologized for the lifting of the deed restriction on the former Rivington House nursing home – which allowed owner Allure to reap a $72 million profit by flipping it to Slate Property Group TRData LogoTINY, China Vanke and Adam America.  But the deputy mayor did not assign individual blame, arguing that “it takes a village.”

“I recognize what happened here was not the right outcome for the community, for the taxpayers, nor was it consistent with the goals and values of the de Blasio administration,” he said. [WSJ] — Konrad Putzier