We here at TPMm have dived headlong into the murky world of New York City accounting procedures to bring you the full story of Rudy Giuliani's security detail's mistress visit accounting shell game
A general clarification first. The central allegation behind the story was that Giuliani, or someone else looking to protect Giuliani, stuck the costs for the security detail into the budgets of obscure city agencies like the New York City Loft Board. It's not clear right now, though, how much total those trips to visit Giuliani's girlfriend Judith Nathan in the Hamptons cost (the Politico counts eleven trips), or which trips were hid in which agency. Not all of the Mayor's Office's travel was stuck with the backwater agencies -- much of it was billed to the mayor's office. It's not clear (to us, at least) if any of the trips to the Hamptons were billed that way, though.
The comptroller found
that Giuliani's office hid $143,867 worth of "non-local travel" expenses in random city agencies in 2000; they upped the slippery accounting in 2001, charging $435,215 in 2001. Given the charges for the Hamptons travel noted in the Politico piece, only a fraction of this was for the eleven trips.
In other words, Giuliani's office had something like a widespread policy of misallocation of which the trysts were just a part -- something that they'd also done for certain salaries, according
to today's New York Times
The administration of Mr. Giulianiâs successor, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, said in 2002, several months after taking office, that the Giuliani administration had kept the budget for the mayorâs office artificially low by paying more than $5 million in salaries through other city agencies. The agencies to which Mr. Giuliani billed the travel expenses were outside the mayorâs office.
adds that the NYPD typically picked up the bill for the mayor's security detail. But a Bloomberg aide tells
the New York Daily News
that it is common for the security detail to bill the mayor's office and then for the NYPD to reimburse it. However, "the aide could not confirm it was past practice to shuffle costs among an alphabet soup of agencies." There lies the rub.