Giuliani Denies Obscuring Mayoral Expenses

Critics question whether Giuliani obscured bills to hide tryst.

ByABC News
November 29, 2007, 5:49 PM

Nov. 29, 2007— -- More questions emerged Thursday about a report that Rudy Giuliani misused public funds when he was mayor of New York to pay for secret trips to the Hamptons with his then-girlfriend and now wife, Judith Nathan.

New York City Comptroller Bill Thompson told ABC News that Giuliani's administration billed obscure city agencies for his security detail's travel expenses during his visits to the Hamptons.

Late this afternoon Giuliani told ABC News this story was a "hit job."

"This was really done to try to focus on my personal life," Giuliani said.

He said the New York Police Department always reimbursed city agencies for his security details' expenses.

"They were handled openly, honestly, it was the practice that was going on since my first term and the idea was to get the bills paid quickly," Giuliani said.

Thompson said this about the Mayor's explanation, "That's not the way that we operate these days, and it would not be the preferred way of doing business," Thompson said. "In the end, it's a very convoluted way of getting things done."

"If anyone hoped that no one would notice, they were being foolish," Thompson told ABC News.

The administration of the current New York mayor, Independent Michael Bloomberg, commented on the story Thursday night.

"During the Giuliani Administration, we believe that security expenses that were originally paid by the Mayor's office were ultimately reimbursed by the Police Department," said Stu Loeser, press secretary for Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Loeser said his office would respond to any formal request for records proving such reimbursements were made, or documents indicating when Mayor Giuliani's policy began of paying for his security detail's expenses with city agency funds with the NYPD reimbursing those funds at a later date.

But, he said, they were not immediately available.

Critics said it looks as if Giuliani attempted to hide the expenses surrounding his affair with Nathan, who has a condo in Southampton.

The story, first published by the political newspaper Politico, included a claim by Thompson that his auditors "were unable to verify that these expenses were for legitimate or necessary purposes."