FDNY Monitor is Excessively Billing the City

NY Post - December 17, 2013

by Post Editorial Board

In New York, it no longer holds — at least with respect to the federal monitor that Judge Nicholas Garaufis imposed on the city’s Fire Department.

The monitor Garaufis appointed for the FDNY is Mark Cohen.

Cohen is the crown jewel of Garaufis’ sweeping overhaul of the FDNY, which he ordered on the specious finding that the department intentionally discriminated against minorities. We’re all paying for that, literally.

As The Post reported this week, Cohen’s latest bill brings the total the city has paid for his services to $3 million. It could hit $20 million by the end of Cohen’s 10-year term. That doesn’t even include the $3.5 million in legal fees Garaufis awarded to the Vulcan Society of minority firefighters that brought the initial lawsuit.

Worse, there’s little the city can do.

In effect, Cohen’s not accountable to anyone except Judge Garaufis, who already has rejected one attempt to make Cohen’s billings more transparent.

In other words, city taxpayers are on the hook for a monitor imposed by an unelected federal judge pursuing his own agenda. And if a decision on stop-and-frisk by Garaufis’s colleague on the bench, Shira Scheindlin, is allowed to stand, we’ll soon get the same situation at the NYPD.

This is outrageous, a sign of the tremendous overreach of both these judges. One of the principles of democratic government is that those who spend the people’s money are accountable to the people. And that principle is violated when a federal judge creates a job and forces the city’s taxpayers to pay for it.