Mayor Bloomberg Golfed for Several Hours After Train Crash

Monday, 02 Dec 2013 03:43 PM

By Cathy Burke

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New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg kept playing golf in Bermuda after being informed of a deadly train derailment in the Bronx, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Bloomberg, who steps down Dec. 31 after 12 years at City Hall, was playing golf Sunday at Bermuda's Mid Ocean golf club, a person who had spotted the mayor told The Journal.

He did not leave the course until roughly 1 p.m,; the fatal Metro-North train derailment, which killed four people and injured more than 60 others, happened about 7:20 a.m. Sunday. Bermuda is an hour ahead of New York time.

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"What can I do? I'm not a professional firefighter or a police officer," the mayor said Sunday night, The Journal reported. "There's nothing I can do. What I can do is make sure that the right people from New York City – our police commissioner, our fire commissioner, and our emergency management commissioner – are there and that they have all the resources that they want."

"I was briefed a few minutes, probably a half an hour after the train wreck, or the first time that I'd heard about it, and we responded in the ways that I think the city should be proud of our emergency first responders. They did exactly what they are supposed to do."

Bloomberg also defended himself Monday, saying uniformed professionals did an "outstanding" job at the scene. He offered no regrets.

"I don't think there's any other city that could have done the kind of job that we did," he said. "That's the bottom line. We have the best, and they did exactly what we want."

Bloomberg spokesman Marc LaVorgna told The New York Post that the derailment was a matter for the state and the Metropolitan Transit Authority, a state agency.

"It's an MTA scene, so it was appropriate for the governor to be the lead official," LaVorgna said.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo was at the scene of the accident, responding to reporters' questions, and was interviewed throughout the day on television and radio.

At a press conference Monday, Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio said he would have been there, according to a tweet from a New York Times reporter.

Shortly after winning his first race for City Hall, Bloomberg said he planned to keep secret any personal trips he took while in office.

He has regularly taken short personal trips to Bermuda and other locations, but hasn't left for an extended vacation during his tenure as mayor.

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