July 25 | New York Times
Bill de Blasio, the city’s public advocate, said on Wednesday that he planned to sue Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and several city commissioners to compel them to turn over data on the city’s revenue from fines.
The lawsuit would follow several months in which Mr. de Blasio has criticized the administration for what he has called an overly aggressive approach to issuing fines, which he said hurts small businesses and is driven by the city’s hunger for revenue.
Revenue from fines collected by 20 agencies that regulate small businesses have grown by almost 70 percent in the decade since Mr. Bloomberg took office, to roughly $820 million in fiscal year 2011 from about $485 million in fiscal year 2002, according to an analysis by Mr. de Blasio’s office.
In early May, Mr. de Blasio sent letters to six agencies asking for the number, type and dollar amount of fines they had issued in every year since 2002. He also asked if the agencies placed quotas on the number of violations issued or the amount of revenue collected by each inspector. He asked for a response by June 1.