Comptroller Stringer Issues Subpoena for Investigation into the City’s Preparedness and Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic
“The COVID-19 pandemic has wrought unspeakable pain, grief and economic hardship on New Yorkers across our city. Our most vulnerable neighbors — including communities of color, lower-income New Yorkers, seniors, immigrants, and single-parent and overcrowded households — were especially devastated by this crisis. Small businesses that closed to protect the public health are now struggling to make ends meet as our city reopens. The Administration owes New Yorkers an explanation of what they knew about this deadly virus, when they knew it, and what they did about it.
“As the City’s independent fiscal and oversight officer, I launched an investigation into city government’s preparedness and response to the pandemic to provide New Yorkers with a transparent, objective assessment of what worked and what we must do better. We requested documents be released on a rolling basis to ensure the production of these documents in no way inhibits the City’s ongoing response. But the City has refused to provide my office with any of the documents we need to conduct this investigation or even suggest a date when they would start producing them — documents received, created, or issued by City government officials and agencies related to the public emergency and its potential impact on residents and businesses in advance of the March 22nd statewide stay-at-home order.
“The Administration’s refusal to comply with our investigation is unacceptable. I am therefore issuing a subpoena for these documents, which should be turned over to our investigators expeditiously. Open and honest government is what New Yorkers deserve, and my office demands nothing less.”