Emergency Management Chief Fired, But Not Because Of Snow Response

December 04, 2018 - 6:06 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — The city’s head of emergency management will be removed from his post, but Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday that it’s not because of the snow.

In fact, de Blasio said the decision to fire Joe Esposito from his position was quietly made two weeks before an unexpectedly sever snowstorm paralyzed the Tri-State area.

“I felt, and others in leadership in the administration, felt for some time that we need to make some changes at that agency and we needed to get more out of that agency,” the mayor said Tuesday.

City Hall officials believed that Esposito, a former top official in the Police Department, was not the right leader for the direction the mayor wanted.

Then, during a report on the Nov. 15 snowstorm, Deputy Mayor Laura Anglin delivered the news to Esposito and blamed the agency’s response for the firing.

“That conversation, obviously now we understand, involved a certain amount of miscommunication and misunderstanding,” Mayor de Blasio said.

In retrospect, the mayor said he should have been the one to discuss the matter with Esposito, who served as OEM commissioner for nearly five years after an extensive career for the NYPD.

“We needed a more strategic approach. I think OEM has been a very strong organization when it comes to tactical work, we need more focus on strategy,” de Blasio said of the agency’s direction.

The administration is currently exploring other options for Esposito to remain on staff.

He will continue to head OEM during the search for his replacement.