NEW YORK – Mayor Bill de Blasio made waves Wednesday morning when he announced New York City cut four contracts with the Trump organization. Three of them were already due to expire in April.
De Blasio, a democrat, announced the decision on MSNBC’s Morning Joe and then at a press conference later that day, claiming he made the decision because President Donald Trump instigated a crowd to attack Congress during certification of Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election. The mayor said criminal activity was a legal ground to terminate contracts with the Trump Organization, which operates a golf course in the Bronx, two ice rinks and the Central Park carousel.
“In light of this foul play, New York City has determined that it is within our power to terminate all contracts with the Trump organization,” de Blasio said at the press conference. “So, bye to the Trump organization, we are not doing any business with you.”
But for the Central Park Carousel, Wollman and Lasker Rinks contracts, the termination comes just a few months before the agreements expire.
The city had a 10-year, $ 2.5 million contract for the carousel, which expires April 9, according to the document reviewed by POLITICO. The contract between the city and the Trump Organization for the two ice rinks it has managed since 2001 was due to expire on April 30.
The Central Park Conservancy, which oversees the facilities, applauded the city’s move.
“The Central Park Conservancy fully supports the city’s decision to revoke the current rinks and Carousel concession contracts in the park,” said spokesperson Mary Caraccioli. “As park wardens, we believe that all park concessions must first and foremost meet the needs of the public who roam the park.”
The city will send out contract termination notifications this week, Legal Department spokesman Nicholas Paolucci said.
The termination of the carousel contract will take effect 25 days after the notice is given, and the rinks agreement ends after 30 days of written notice, according to the town hall.
The city is likely to have a bigger legal battle over the 20-year, $ 6.15 million contract with the Trump Organization to manage the 18-hole golf course in the Bronx, which expires on April 30, 2032.
City Corporation attorney James Johnson said on Wednesday that the contracts include “at will provisions” that give Blasio’s administration reason to move forward.
“The evidence is clear that he invited criminal conduct,” Johnson said. “We don’t have to wait for the standard of proof you would need in a criminal trial.”
In a statement, the town hall noted that the golf course termination process is more detailed and will take several months. When asked if the city could find a new supplier to replace Trump or if it would be forced to turn the golf course into another facility to do so, the Legal Department objected, saying it would not be not “analyze this further or enter into a legal strategy.” “
This is not the first time that de Blasio has attempted to sever ties with the Trump organization. After the president referred to Mexican immigrants as “rapists” and “killers” in 2015, de Blasio tried unsuccessfully to terminate contracts with the Trump organization prematurely.
The Trump organization did not return POLITICO’s request for comment, but told NBC News that Blasio’s administration was ignoring the facts.
“New York City does not have the legal right to terminate our contracts and if they choose to continue, they will owe the Trump Organization more than $ 30 million,” said Eric Trump, executive vice president of the Trump Organization, in a statement.
The four contracts cost the city about $ 17 million each year.
“This is nothing more than political discrimination, an attempt to break the First Amendment and we plan to fight vigorously,” Eric Trump said.