Newly Revealed Emails Show de Blasio Threatened, Bullied Staffers

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio / Getty
• August 9, 2017 8:52 am


New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio treated his staffers poorly and often bullied them with harsh threats if they did not meet his demands, according to newly revealed emails.

"What do I need to get you guys to follow a direct order? Do you need to experience consequences?" he threatened in one 2015 email, according to the New York Post.

"I'm not raising this again: fix it, or I will [have] no choice but to find a way to penalize people. Not my preference, but I won't have my instructions ignored," he added.

The emails show de Blasio blowing up at nearly a dozen staffers for "failing to make sure phonetic versions of challenging words were included in his speeches and talking points," according tot the Post.

"This is literally the 100th time I am reminding you all that phonetic spellings require one syllable to be capitalized to indicate emphasis in pronunciation," de Blasio wrote in one furious message.

"I have no idea why you guys can't get it," he said. "All of the folks in comms, speechwriting and my personal staff who looked at these remarks — it just takes ONE to catch it."

A City Hall source told the Post that de Blasio's emails reflect how he acts in meetings and that he has been known to kick staff members out of meetings. The source went on to say that he is "condescending" and "arrogant" with a micromanaging leadership style, in which he exhibits "no confidence" in those working for him.

"Part of it stems from the fact that he used to be [a political] operative, and he thinks he can outmaneuver his aides," the source said.

De Blasio sent the aforementioned "phonetic spellings" email on Jan. 24, 2015, under the subject line "Kehilath Jeshuran," which is  a misspelled reference to Upper East Side synagogue Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun.

"How can it be that none of you noticed the absence with the word Jeshurun. Work on quality control pls. Fix these remarks now pls. Example: pho-NET-ic," he fumed.

De Blasio's email was directly sent to "special assistant" Elana Leopold, who is currently on leave from his office to work on his re-election campaign. It was cc'd to Avi Fink, now deputy chief of staff, and Amy Spitalnick, who left last October to become the press secretary for state Attorney General Eric Scheniderman, according to the Post.

"Guys, I'm fed up," De Blasio fumed in a follow-up email on Feb. 6, 2015, after he blundered delivering remarks in Spanish.

"I have raised the problem of inconsistency in providing phonetic pronunciation and in providing clearly delineated Spanish (with emphasis on the proper syllable) many, many times," he wrote. "And yet between all of you, you haven’t fix [sic] the problem, which is bluntly unprofessional."

A former City Hall Staffer told the Post that de Blasio's email rants were "par for the type of emails he sent."

Published under: Bill de Blasio