Mayor Bill de Blasio has a parting gift for taxpayers: picking up the tab for him, his wife and an entourage of City Hall staffers to hit the annual SOMOS political retreat in Puerto Rico.
The term-limited de Blasio — who is leaving office at year’s end after spending much of his eight years as mayor out of town pushing his progressive agenda — attended the five-day beachside conference running alongside first lady Chirlane McCray and six employees, The City first reported. De Blasio and McCray’s son Dante also attended, but paid his own way.
De Blasio’s office declined to say how much taxpayers will get billed, but the mayor defended the trip.
“For us, we are non-stop doing work on issues — literally all the time. I had meetings since the moment I got here with people about issues and problems in their community, elected officials, labor leaders, civic leaders,” de Blasio told reporters in Puerto Rico.
De Blasio’s public schedule for Thursday and Friday showed him hitting numerous receptions affiliated with the conference, including ones hosted by Brooklyn and Queens Democratic leaders and New York State Association for Affordable Housing.
The Department of Investigation last month released a scathing report outlining how de Blasio had taxpayers foot a nearly $320,000 tab for his security detail while touring the country in 2019 during his failed presidential bid. The agency called on de Blasio to reimburse the city, but he’s yet to comply.
The City also reported that Gov. Kathy Hochul and some of her aides traveled to the San Juan conference on taxpayers’ dime. The governor’s husband, Bill Hochul, a top official at casino and concessions company Delaware North, paid for his own trip.
Brooklyn Borough President and Mayor-elect Eric Adams was also at the conference with a half dozen aides and campaign staffers, but they reportedly paid their own way.
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