City Council Speaker Corey Johnson said Tuesday that Joseph Esposito, head of the mayor’s Office of Emergency Management, was “left hanging in the wind” by Mayor de Blasio and “deserves better.”
In a bewildering series of events, Esposito was fired Friday by Deputy Mayor Laura Anglin but reinstated Monday — after three days of uncertainty — by de Blasio until a replacement could be found.
Esposito reported for work Monday despite his firing, waiting to hear directly from the mayor.
The two finally met at 2:45 p.m. Monday at Gracie Mansion. But de Blasio didn’t publicly clarify what would happen to Esposito until 10:05 pm.
“I thought he was left hanging in the wind yesterday — not knowing if he was fired or not fired,” Johnson told WNYC radio.
“I think that he deserves better than how he was treated yesterday.”
Both Esposito and Anglin were on vacation when a surprise snowstorm paralyzed the city on Nov. 15.
But it’s the Department of Sanitation, not OEM, along with City Hall, that takes the lead on organizing a snowfall response — raising questions about what prompted Anglin to dismiss Esposito on Friday.
“If there’s something else that’s going on here that is unrelated to the snowstorm, I would like to know what it is because I am extraordinarily confused by how this all went down,” Johnson said.
De Blasio spokesman Eric Phillips said the administration has “started the process of leadership change” at OEM.
“We look forward to exploring additional opportunities for Commissioner Esposito to remain in the administration,” he added, without explaining what that position might be.
Esposito, a longtime veteran of the NYPD before he was appointed as OEM commissioner by de Blasio in 2014, didn’t immediately return a call for comment.
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