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Election Is Over, But Thompson & Bloomberg Still Fighting

blomth1.jpgTwo weeks after narrowly losing to Mayor Bloomberg, Controller William Thompson punched back Wednesday by refusing to back a plan to reopen and expand a downtown Brooklyn jail.

Thompson refused for the third time to approve a $34 million design contract for the project – even after a top Bloomberg official sent a letter ordering him to do so under city law.

“This boondoggle has been a disaster since day one,” said Thompson, blasting the mayor for demanding cuts citywide while pushing the $450 million project. It would double capacity at the Brooklyn House of Detention to 1,500 inmates.

“The people of New York City do not deserve to have their tax dollars wasted on an unnecessary project,” he added, calling the contract “fundamentally flawed.”

“The money the city wants to spend on this contract would be far better used as a means to reduce class sizes and build more schools,” Thompson said.

A Bloomberg administration official said Thompson had no grounds to block the contract – and can expect to end up in court if he does.

The city closed the Brooklyn House of Detention to overnight inmates in 2003 to save money. For the last year, up to 50 inmates have been housed there temporarily.

The expansion plan has sparked howls from neighborhood groups that want it shuttered for good – not expanded.

Thompson first nixed the contract in February, charging Bloomberg officials had failed to explain why the total cost had doubled. In March, he rejected it again, calling the bid process “corrupt.”

(Source: NY Daily News)

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