Mayor Yepen: I Didn’t Write That Letter [Revised]

[JK: The original version posted did not have the letter]

At the August 2 meeting of the City Council, Chris Mathiesen presented to the Council the complaint he had submitted to the city ethics board regarding a request by Mayor Yepsen to the New York State Racing Association that they provide a box to the city without charge.  He asserted that such a request was inappropriate.

He presented, as documents, the Mayor’s letter to  NYRA, his complaint to the Ethics Board, the Ethics Board’s opinion on the matter, his letter to Christopher Kay who is the president of the NYRA, and Mr. Kay’s response to Mayor Yepsen.  I will be posting on this issue in a later post.

This is a copy of the letter from Mayor Yepsen to  NYRA.



In a bizarre twist to the discussion, the Mayor announced that she had not written the letter.   [Pardon the inept video editing. The unedited video of the entire meeting is available as always on the city website.]


The Mayor asserted the letter came from the Finance Office.  As could be expected, Commissioner Madigan took strong exception to the Mayor’s statement.  Madigan asserted that the draft was written by the Mayor’s then deputy, Joe Ogden.  As Madigan supported the request to NYRA she offered to have her deputy, Lynn Bachner, edit the document.

Madigan then brought Ms. Bachner to the mic. She explained that her only role had been to make a few minor grammatical corrections and offered that she had not authored the document.

The Mayor then appeared to back track emphasizing that the Finance Office had edited the document.

It is not unusual to have staff do the actual drafting for officials such as the Mayor or the Commissioners.  It is, however, understood that when a Commissioner or a Mayor signs a letter that the letter was in effect written by them.


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