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 , China Vanke and Adam America. But the deputy mayor did not assign individual blame, arguing that “it takes a village.”