Update: May 13, 2013 1:09 PM
On Monday, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg declined to discuss the accusations reporters at his media company, Bloomberg News, used the company’s financial information terminals to track government officials and investment bank staffers.
“No, I can’t say anything. I have an agreement with the Conflict of Interests Board. You’ll have to talk to the company,” Bloomberg said.Late Update (3:03 PM): An initial version of this post said Bloomberg cited his contract, upon listening to better quality audio it was clear he said COIB. The mayor’s office told TPM the agreement he made with the COIB when he first took office in 2002 specified that he should not be involved in Bloomberg News’ day-to-day operations so it would not be appropriate for him to comment.
Questions about Bloomberg reporters’ usage of terminal data have been mounting since last week when it was revealed the investment banking company Goldman Sachs complained about Bloomberg journalists accessing data on its staffers. Since then, reports have emerged of Bloomberg reporters being trained to use the terminals to track story subjects and of journalists using the terminals to gain information on employees at J.P. Morgan Chase and top officials at the U.S. Treasury Department and Federal Reserve. Bloomberg has admitted at least one of its journalists gained information on Goldman Sachs through terminal data.
Bloomberg was asked about the issues with the terminals at a press conference announcing a water cleanup project in Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal would be completed on schedule this year in spite of Hurricane Sandy, which affected the area. Though Bloomberg left his position as an executive at his eponymous company when he first ran for mayor in 2001, he remains the majority owner. After he initially declined to discuss the situation, a second reporter asked him about terminal tracking that occurred while he was at the company and he again refused to respond.
“I don’t know what youre talking about, you’ll have to talk to the company,” he said.