Light Amidst the Shag

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The Times has an interesting piece on the Shag Fund.

One key point is that it wasn’t just shagging expenses that got shifted to all these obscure NYC offices. From what I can tell, there was actually some legitimate travel: some political trips to upstate when Rudy was thinking he was going to run for senate and security for the second wife Donna Hanover when she traveled out of town.

I fear, though, that we are only rubbing the surface of the true Shag Fund in this incipient probe. Clearly there’s the travel money — billed to whatever NYC office — used for trips and security for Rudy out at the Hamptons shags. But we also know now that while Rudy was conducting an extramarital affair with Judi he gave her her own NYPD car and driver to be squired around the city with. Where’d the money for that come from? He later assigned her her own security detail, though this did apparently come after he fired Donna Hanover as First Lady of NYC so he apparently yanked some of them from her and gave them to Judi. Where’d the money for that come from?

According to City Comptroller Bill Thompson, auditors from the Comptroller’s office first started raising questions about Rudy’s travel costs during his predecessor’s tenure. Rudy folks basically told them to go jump in a lake. Then after Bloomberg came in they asked again. Bloomberg’s office reviewed the matter, decided the payments were for legitimate security functions and then referred it on to the city Department of Investigation. From there …

“We were told it that it was for security purposes, that it was used for legitimate security reasons,” Mr. Thompson said. “And once you get that assurance, particularly from not the same mayor’s office, but from a different mayor’s office, that they had taken a look, then we had no reason to believe that it wasn’t.”

“Our biggest concern,” he continued, “was making sure there was no misappropriation.” Mr. Thompson said he had not heard anything further about the matter from the Department of Investigation, but said normal procedures would call for the agency to contact him only if it found something improper.

A spokeswoman for the agency declined to comment about the matter and would not say whether it had produced a closing memorandum, a standard practice in any investigation, saying it was “gathering the files related to the investigation.”

Yes, misappropriation of funds. Like setting your mistress up with a city car and police chauffeur? This, of course, wasn’t part of the investigation. Or was there even one?

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