New York City

OEM Commissioner Issues Statement Amid Confusion Over Termination

In a statement on Tuesday, Joseph Esposito said he would remain in his role until the city appointed a new commissioner

What to Know

  • The commissioner of NYC's Office of Emergency Management says he will remain in his post until the city finds his replacement
  • On Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city would conduct a national search for Joseph Esposito's replacement
  • Esposito was reportedly fired by a deputy mayor over the city's response to a November snowstorm that wreaked havoc on commutes

A city official who was fired over his agency's response to a snowstorm that wreaked havoc on commutes last month says he will continue working until the city finds his replacement.

Joseph Esposito, the commissioner of New York City’s Office of Emergency Management, was reportedly fired by Deputy Mayor Laura Anglin on Friday after he refused to resign.

It was initially unclear whether Mayor Bill de Blasio had approved the firing, as Esposito showed up to work on Monday. In a statement issued late Monday night however, the mayor confirmed that the city would “conduct a national search for [Esposito’s] successor,” noting Esposito would remain in his post during the search.

In his own statement on Tuesday, Esposito said he was “committed to serving as Commissioner until a new person is appointed to the role to ensure a smooth transition and consistent leadership.”

“It has been a great privilege to lead this agency for the past four and a half years, and together we have created an emergency management organization that is a model for other cities in this country and beyond,” he said.

“I look forward to continuing to work on behalf of the residents of this great city, and I expect that we all will continue to work tirelessly to serve New York City and the millions of people who live, work and visit every year,” he added.

Esposito spent more than four decades at the NYPD before he became OEM commissioner in 2014.

News of his termination came less than a month after the Nov. 15 snowstorm that paralyzed the city and prompted some to call for de Blasio’s resignation.

Several City Council members voiced their support for Esposito after the news broke.

“I’m a little shocked that Esposito is being fired,” NYC City Council Speaker Corey Johnson tweeted. “The Admin did not explicitly place blame on OEM in the days after the storm or at our Council hearing.”

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