The city’s ousted emergency management chief insisted Wednesday that Mayor Bill de Blasio didn’t ignore his message over the weekend saying that wanted to talk after he was suddenly fired by a deputy.
“Let me make it clear,” Office of Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Esposito told The Post on Wednesday as he was picked up by a driver at his Brooklyn home on his way to a coat distribution event at the Salvation Army in Harlem.
“I know exactly what happened. I left and asked my staff at one point — I forget if it was Friday or Saturday — to reach out to the mayor’s staff and let him know at his convenience, I’d like to talk to him,” Esposito said, referring to de Blasio, who was in Vermont for an event with Sen. Bernie Sanders.
“I didn’t make it as an emergency,” said Esposito, who was wearing a jacket with OEM’s logo. “I’m sure my folks reached out to his folks. I can guarantee you he didn’t get the message.”
Esposito continued: “I have a good relationship with the mayor. We talk now and then, we do communicate. I didn’t make it urgent. I’m totally confident that he didn’t get that message until Monday.”
A source close to the situation previously told The Post that Esposito repeatedly tried to call and email de Blasio but got no reply on Friday, and over the weekend.
De Blasio denied this at a press conference Tuesday.
“I check my phone a lot. I have no record of a phone call,” the mayor said. “Maybe something just didn’t get to me, but usually someone like him who has my cell number calls or texts. I didn’t get one.”
Esposito, who called his past 4½ years leading OEM “terrific,” was axed Friday by Deputy Mayor Laura Anglin after a heated meeting over the city’s response to last month’s 6-inch snowstorm that caused a commuter disaster in the Big Apple.
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He went to work anyway Monday because he never got confirmation from de Blasio, sources have said.
A member of Esposito’s security team told The Post that OEM staffers were so devastated by Esposito’s ouster that some of them were driven to tears at the agency’s Downtown Brooklyn headquarters Tuesday.
But a smiling Esposito tried to lighten the mood by wearing a “Free hugs” sign around his neck and telling staffers that “there’s nothing to cry about,” the security member said.
De Blasio and Esposito met at Gracie Mansion twice on Monday, and City Hall later issued a statement saying that Esposito would continue to head OEM as they sought the agency’s next leader.
The mayor on Tuesday said the firing had nothing to do with the city’s response to the Nov. 15 snowstorm.
Meanwhile, referring to his sacking, Esposito admitted Wednesday, “I think the whole thing could’ve been handling a little differently, but you know there’s no perfect world and it is what it is.”
He said he had a “very good conversation” with the mayor, adding “hopefully [de Blasio] has another spot for me somewhere else in city government.”
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