'Horse Trading' But No Crime In Mayor’s Yeshiva Probe

Mack Rosenberg
December 18, 2019 - 6:55 pm
Mayor de Blasio

Drew Angerer/Getty Images


NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — A new report claims Mayor Bill de Blasio and state lawmakers delayed releasing a report about the quality of education at yeshivas in order to ensure an extension of mayoral control over all city schools.

According to Department of Investigation Commissioner Margaret Garnett, city officials engaged in “political horse trading” but did not break any laws.

“There were a series of conversations about the concerns of the Orthodox community with respect to the inquiry and to oversight of yeshivas generally, and in the context of those conversations, was securing political support for extension of mayoral control,” she said.

In the summer of 2017, with City Hall facing a state vote on extending mayoral control of city schools, the mayor's office and state legislators brokered an agreement. The State Department of Education would delay the release of an interim report about the quality of education at yeshivas in the city.

“It's not clear that whether the mayor directed or authorized the agreement to be made, as we note in the statement, he was aware that a commitment to delay had been made and he had that knowledge,” Garnett said.

However, the joint investigation between the DOI and the city’s Special Commissioner of Investigation for schools found no wrong doing on the part of Mayor de Blasio or state legislators, determining the agreement was not made for personal gain.