Bill Sorry for Not Stepping Up After Slur - NBC New York

Bill Sorry for Not Stepping Up After Slur

Restaurateur insulted Quinn, Thompson sat by, report says



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    Sorry, Speaker Quinn. I didn't mean it.

    Oh, my bad. City Comptroller Bill Thompson said "sorry" yesterday to Christine Quinn for not lambasting a restaurant owner who called the council speaker a "whore" at a recent public meeting, according to a published report.

    Maria Alvarado, a spokeswoman for Quinn's office, told The New York Post that her boss got apologies from both the mayoral hopeful and the foul-mouthed restaurant owner, but that she wasn't at liberty to discuss the details of those conversations.

    The incident occurred Wednesday morning at the Tea and Sympathy restaurant in Greenwich Village, where about a dozen small-business owners met with Thompson at a campaign event to talk about their financial issues in the bad economy.

    As restaurant co-owned Nicky Perry slammed Quinn for being "ignorant" on issues important to small business owners, her husband, Sean Kavanagh-Dowsett jumped in: "She's a whore, and you can quote me on that."

    Well, the Post did. And now we are, too.

    The entire audience started laughing hysterically, according to an audiotape obtained by the Post, at which point Kavanagh-Dowsett added, "I'll drop my trousers, and she can kiss my ass."

    You'd think that such a harsh comment would elicit ire – or some sort of emotion – from the city comptroller, who was sitting just a few feet away from the loudmouth. But Thompson said nothing; he didn't react at all. Needless to say, Quinn was probably displeased.

    Kavanagh-Dowsett sent an apologetic e-mail to Quinn, which he CC'd to the Post.

    "Please believe me when I say that the comment that I blurted out was a pathetic attempt to get a laugh out of a couple of people in the room," he wrote. "This inappropriate and rude comment was meant as a joke (a bad one) and was made in such an off-the-cuff manner that I didn't remember having said it."

    Oh, you didn't remember? Ever the opportunist, Mayor Michael Bloomberg's campaign released the audiotape, which captures Kavanagh-Dowsett's verbal assault and, incidentally, silence on the part of Thompson, the presumptive Democratic nominee for mayor, after the outburst. How convenient for Bloomy.

    After the tape jogged his memory, Kavanagh-Dawsett told Quinn his comments were "particularly unfair" because she helped his daughter, and many others, get a seat in a public school kindergarten when they otherwise would've been shut out, according to the Post.

    He also came to Thompson's defense, telling Quinn there's no way the city comptroller could've heard him utter the slur because he's such a decent guy that he wouldn't have just let such a vile comment go by without reprimanding the person who said it.

    Thompson's campaign didn't have much to say about the incident. Earlier, they released a statement calling the restaurateur's comments "inappropriate and offensive," according to the Post.