Bloomberg News

NYC Public Advocate Sues, Seeks Data on Fines by City

July 26, 2012

New York City Public Advocate Bill De Blasio sued Mayor Michael Bloomberg for information on fines, saying complaints by small-business owners show the city is seeking to boost revenue by increasing enforcement of regulations.

De Blasio said in a petition filed in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan today that since he took office two years ago small-business owners throughout the city have complained of “overzealous enforcement of regulations and imposition of fines and violations for low-risk, first-time offenses.”

“These complaints reflect a pattern of increased enforcement of regulations by the Bloomberg administration in an attempt to boost City revenues during difficult economic times, without regard for the impact this policy is having on the city’s small-business owners,” De Blasio said.

The city has failed to provide information requested by the public advocate on fines, which doubled to about $800 million in 2011 from about $400 million in 2002, De Blasio said in the petition.

Marc LaVorgna, a spokesman for the mayor, said “restaurants are cleaner, construction sites are safer, fires have come down, and our streets are cleaner and safer than ever as a result of enforcing the regulations we have put in place and the laws the Council has passed.”

The mayor is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News. The city has received the petition and is reviewing it, Elizabeth Thomas, a spokeswoman for the city’s Law Department, said.

The case is De Blasio v. Bloomberg, 103374/2012, New York State Supreme Court (Manhattan).

To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Dolmetsch in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at

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