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Comptroller John Liu

The Brian Lehrer Show

Defense Attorney for Former Liu Associate Responds

Monday, May 06, 2013

Irwin Rochman, attorney for Xing Wu "Oliver" Pan, who has been convicted of a straw donor scheme to illegally raise campaign funds for New York City Comptroller John Liu, talks about the case against his client. Rochman is also a partner at Tessen, Ryan & Rochman.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

John Liu's Challenge to U.S. Attorney

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Michael Saul, reporter covering City Hall for The Wall Street Journal, talks about mayoral hopeful John Liu's challenge to the U.S. attorney's office to "put up or shut up."

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Transportation Nation

New York City Comptroller Says He's Blocking Taxi of Tomorrow

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

The Nissan NV200 -- New York's "Taxi of Tomorrow" - on display at the 2012 New York Auto Show (photo by Kate Hinds

Comptroller John Liu further complicated the New York City’s "Taxi of Tomorrow" project  Wednesday by saying he wouldn’t approve the city’s contract with Nissan because the vehicle selected isn’t wheelchair accessible.

Surrounded by other elected officals and advocates for the disabled, Liu said he believed the contract ‘as is’ violates the Americans With Disabilities Act.

But Liu, who is under an ethical cloud for campaign finance violations,  may not be able to reject the contract outright.  Liu's campaign treasurer and a fundraiser have been indicted for using "straw donors" to circumvent city camapaign finance rules.

Kate O’Brien, spokeswoman with the City Law Department, said, “the law limits the issues upon which the Comptroller may refuse to register a contract. None of the matters raised, including ADA compliance, would constitute lawful grounds for refusing to do so.”

The city chose Nissan to be the single provider of yellow taxis for the next decade beginning in 2013. The new cabs will be rolled out as older cabs are retired.

The Nissan NV 200 has transparent roofs, USB chargers and extra legroom.  However, even though it’s a mini-van, it isn't accessible to people in wheelchairs.

Liu said “requiring cabs to have independent climate controls is nice but when you fail to make them accessible to a growing number of New Yorkers, it’s not just a slap in the face, its illegal.”

Taxi and Limousine Commssion spokesperson Allan Fromberg called Liu’s objection to the contact “mysterious and ill-informed.” He said, “Nissan is providing a wheelchair accessible version of the Taxi of Tomorrow, the city will create an additional 2,000 wheelchair accessible medallion licenses and they’re on the cusp of launching a demand responsive wheelchair accessible taxi dispatch system.”

Disabled groups sued the city over the Taxi of Tomorrow, and in 2011, a federal court ruled that the city, through the Taxi and Limousine Commission, violated ADA because it failed to provide passengers in wheelchairs meaningful access to taxis.  But an appeals court has allowed the city to put new taxis on the street without complying with the lower’s court’s order.

Currently, only 2 percent of the city’s taxi fleet is wheelchair accessible.

Attorney James Weissman with United Spinal Association, one of the groups involved in the lawsuit against the Taxi of Tomorrow, rejected the notion that a dispatch system will provide “meaningful access” to cabs for the estimated 60,000 New Yorkers in wheelchairs.  He noted that a separate system just for people with disabilities is a classic violation of civil rights.

“If it was any other protected class would we even question whether or not this was a shameful practice?” he asked. “What if we were running a separate system –substitute any other protected class…women have to take a separate system, blacks have to take a separate system – they can’t get in the same cabs…it doesn’t pass the smell test.”

By taking on the taxi issue, the embattled comptroller isn’t only taking on New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg  He’s going head-to-head with TLC Commissioner David Yassky—his rival in the 2009 runoff for the office of Comptroller—an office many political insiders believe Yassky would make a run for again.

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WNYC News

More Financial Job Cuts Could Impact Wall Street

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Investment bank Morgan Stanley announced it will cut nearly 1,600 people after seeing business fall in its investment banking and trading divisions.

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WNYC News

New York City’s Uncertain Financial Future

Thursday, December 15, 2011

New York City is facing a dual threat to its budget this fiscal year: the euro and school contracts.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Liu's Fund-Raising Investigation

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The New York Times City Hall bureau chief David Chen updates the news about federal investigations of New York City comptroller (and 2013 mayoral hopeful) John Liu's campaign fund-raising. 

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WNYC News

City Pension Funds Earn Highest Returns in 13 Years, Comptroller Says

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

The city pension funds earned their highest returns in 13 years, according to New York City Comptroller John Liu said.

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WNYC News

Carousel Operator Owes City for Repairs, Claims Comptroller

Friday, April 15, 2011

A carousel operator took the city for a ride by keeping poor records of its financial transactions and failing to maintain sanitary conditions, New York City Comptroller John Liu charged on Friday.

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