NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg declined to apologize on Sunday for how he handled the resignation of a former deputy mayor, who was arrested on a domestic violence charge.
Stephen Goldsmith, the former Deputy Mayor for Operations, was arrested in Washington on July 30 after a fight with his wife. According to a police report, he shoved and grabbed her.
On August 4, Bloomberg released a statement saying Goldsmith was leaving "to pursue prive-sector opportunities in infrastructure finance." The release made no mention of the domestic violence charge.
"I did not believe it was right for our administration to put out a story about an incident that had the potential to be even more suffering to the Goldsmith family," Bloomberg said outside a church in Brooklyn.
"I make no apologies for either the fact that Mr. Goldsmith has left city service or for treating the Goldsmith family with basic decency as he left," he said as he read from a statement.
Bloomberg has been criticized for how he handled Goldsmith's resignation.
New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio called on the mayor apologize to New York residents, in a letter he wrote to Bloomberg Friday.
He said Bloomberg misrepresented the facts when he said Goldsmith was leaving to pursue other opportunities.
"Your decision to mislead the public and key figures of your own administration ... about the circumstances leading to Deputy Mayor Stephen Goldsmith's resignation is unacceptable," de Blasio wrote.
Bloomberg said he would have fired Goldsmith if the aide had not resigned.
Goldsmith also served as Mayor of Indianapolis from 1992 to 2000. Deputy mayors are appointed, not elected, in New York City.
(Writing and reporting by Karin Matz; Editing by Greg McCune)