Mayoral hopeful Kathryn Garcia said Thursday she has no clue how Mayor Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, spent $1 billion on her mental illness project, ThriveNYC — with so little to show for it.
“I do not have any idea where the billion went,” said Garcia, the former Department of Sanitation commissioner and one of the mayor’s longest-serving senior officials, on Fox 5’s “Good Day New York.”
“You can’t run a program that the public doesn’t have trust and transparency in,” Garcia continued.
“We’re all taxpayers. We all want to know that our money is being used correctly, that it makes a difference. I like to be transparent. I like to make sure the public knows what I’m doing,” she said.
Garcia’s comments are the harshest critique of the much-maligned program from a former administration official to date.
ThriveNYC, which McCray launched in 2015, came under scrutiny by watchdogs for its massive price tag, lack of metrics, and failure to help seriously mentally ill New Yorkers.
While Garcia was not involved in ThriveNYC, she served as de Blasio’s Department of Sanitation chief for six years.
She was also his go-to crisis manager to address the lead poisoning of children in public housing and get food to millions of needy New Yorkers during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Good Day New York” co-hosts Rosanna Scotto and Lori Stokes questioned Garcia about the ThriveNYC funds amid a spate of violent hate crimes committed by people with apparent mental illness.
Garcia recently joined Democratic mayoral primary front-runners Eric Adams and Andrew Yang at the top of the polls following endorsements by the New York Times and the New York Daily News.
The primary election is on June 22 and early voting starts on June 12. The ballots will include the new ranked-choice system, where voters will be able to choose their top five candidates.