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Giuliani to Investigate Reports of Improper Security Charges

Senior adviser Tony Carbonetti discusses the security charges.

A top aide to former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani said tonight that he has ordered an investigation into how thousands of dollars of security expenses incurred during Giuliani's tenure were charged to obscure city agencies instead of the police department budget.

Senior adviser Tony Carbonetti said he does not know why the charges were accounted for as documented by a story posted Wednesday afternoon on the Politico Web site. According to the story, hotel, gas and other expenses for protecting the mayor during trips to the Hamptons were billed to departments such as the New York City Loft Board.

"I first learned the fact of this today," Carbonetti said in an interview before Wednesday night's CNN/YouTube debate. "I had heard about something like this a few days ago and was told it was being handled."

The campaign promised a better explanation after conducting the investigation into the issue. He said campaign adviser Joe Lhota, who had been a city budget director and deputy mayor, will look into it. But Carbonetti, who has been a Giuliani confidant throughout his public career, said the security expenses were legitimate spending by the department to protect a sitting mayor.

He noted that the police department is required to spend money on security for the mayor and his family regardless of whether the mayor is on city business, a political trip or a personal vacation. "The police department is required to cover the mayor of New York 24/7 no matter where he goes, for whatever reason," Carbonetti said.

According to the Politico story, which was based on documents obtained via the Freedom of Information Act, the loft agency documented trips the mayor took to Long Island in 1999 and 2000. The story raises the question of whether the mayor may have been eager to avoid disclosure of his trips to visit Judy Nathan, who later became his third wife.

The story also quoted a letter from the city's comptroller criticizing the accounting practices and saying the mayor's travel expenses increased 150 percent during the time period in question.

Carbonetti disputed the idea that Giuliani was attempting to hide anything. Asked how the police charges would have been accounted for in other agency budgets, he said: "Not being a budget guy, I have no idea. If you wanted to hide something, wouldn't you put it under a security thing at NYPD, therefore you would never get it."

--Dan Balz and Michael D. Shear

By Washington Post editors  |  November 28, 2007; 7:04 PM ET
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I hope's Ben Smith story turns out to be the one that brings down Rudy Giuliani.

Will's Ben Smith single handedly bring down Rudy Giuliani?


Posted by: PollM | November 29, 2007 11:51 AM | Report abuse

"The story also quoted a letter from the city's comptroller ... saying the mayor's travel expenses increased 150 percent during the time period in question."

I thought Giulianni's claim to fame was cutting the size of government?

A 150% increase in the cost of travel expenses doesn't sound like fiscally conservative government.

Posted by: bsimon | November 29, 2007 11:19 AM | Report abuse

It is so tiring to hear the drum of hypocrisy from these people. The lies are constant. One cannot compare Clinton's affair for which he paid a strong price to this revelation and to do so is spurious. Read the Politico article. Guliani charged the state and city of New York thousands of dollars...$34,000 to the New York loft commission for example. Why would he do this? for "security" reasons???!!! Wake Up!

Posted by: treez57 | November 29, 2007 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Interesting approach from the Post, burying the story in the blog and hanging the story on the candidate's response instead of the charge. Unusually kind of you.

Posted by: zukermand | November 29, 2007 8:13 AM | Report abuse

This scandal is about money and integrity, not about sex as some GOP commenters would have it.

We here in New York just dealt with a similar scandal involving the State Comptroller. He is history.

Now the question is- do the voters in the Republican Party have the guts to pull the trigger and get rid of a grafter.

My bet is that for all their guff about "values," the GOP rank and file will buy Rudy's baloney and fall into in.

The GOP culture of corruption has yet to be uprooted.

Posted by: pach12 | November 29, 2007 7:56 AM | Report abuse

While this was going on, Rudy's once shrill personality changed for the better, and it was commented upon by the reporters who covered him. When he announced in a press conference that he had found the woman of his dreams, and that he was leaving his wife, to marry this woman, all New York, including said wife, were surprised. I guess if he becomes President, we can expect policy to be done in a similar fashion. Don't be fooled. I lived in New York during the Guliani years. He forgets to talk about the Police and Fire Commissioner and his acrimonious relationships with the Board of Education would portend a difficult period of Presidential-Congressional relations. Some reporters should start looking into the Guliani years. This guy is getting a free pass. I think black leaders might give you an earful,too. He doesn't share the limelight very easily. There's a lot to look at, so reporters start looking before it's too late. This guy is no conservative. NYC is a very liberal city.

Posted by: Elinor.Miller | November 28, 2007 11:24 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: votenic | November 28, 2007 10:55 PM | Report abuse

The security charges were not improper. It was the method the Mayor's office used to expense them.

The solution is simple. If the mayor was on personal business, visiting Ms. Nathan, then he should reimburse the city for the cost of police protection during his non-official business encounters.

If he had been visiting his wife, then he may have been able to claim that encounters were "official business" and thus security costs could have been charge to any particular department whether it be the Co-op Authority or the Circle Line Pier Restoration Authority.

Republicans should not sweat over this. Bill Clinton's non-official business occurred in a publicly owned office and was compounded by the fact that he lied to a congressionally appointed lawyer.

Giuliani, by comparison, used private space for non-official business and he lied to his wife and not to an attorney. Additionally, I don't think cigars were present.

In short, this is a non-issue. Rudolph needs only to write a check for $34,000 to the City of New York to reimburse taxpayers for his late night security.

Posted by: kondina | November 28, 2007 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Oh. My. God. If a Republican voter who made a big deal about Bill's affair in office still votes for this man, he or she will have acknowledged officially that he or she is a 100% empty-hearted hypocrite.

There is so much poetic justice in this I cannot begin to express myself. Republicans discover that ancient Sanskirt word called "karma". Welcome to the circle, folks.

Posted by: B2O2 | November 28, 2007 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Rudy is a career criminal. It's no surprise that he has a mafia mouthpiece fronting for him.
I'm glad I've never encountered anyone stupid enough to vote for this moron.

Posted by: eco-pharm | November 28, 2007 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Nice also how Carbonetti kept trying to throw the police department under the bus. (Also, hope you were able to stand far enough back to avoid getting hit by the flop sweat)

Posted by: sfmandrew | November 28, 2007 8:10 PM | Report abuse

I think this is unfair, and I don't really understand how the government couldn't control such thing. The government doesn't seem to really be involved in the situation, and they surely didn't tell the people of their nation nothing about where their money was going, and toward what. I think that government officials need to be asked how they could allow such a thing to pass them by. People who live in the U.S. are the ones who pay taxes and support our police department budgets, and we should be immediately notified if something such as this occurs. This can be viewed as a sort of discrimination in a way, that no one really knows much about the situation nation-wide.

Posted by: Euro_BaBii93 | November 28, 2007 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Busted! They'll have a better explanation as soon as they make one up. And, Dan, please, don't be so shy, you can be a little less euphemistic than 'visiting' Judith Nathan.

Posted by: sfmandrew | November 28, 2007 8:06 PM | Report abuse

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