Christine Quinn has a temper, apparently

Christine Quinn
City Council Speaker and 2013 mayoral hopeful Christine Quinn was described by “more than two dozen” people as allegedly verbally abusive, according to The New York Times. Credit: Metro

According to several unnamed sources in a three-page NY Times exposé, Christine Quinn is a tough boss.

Her staff, who apparently soundproofed her office out of concern for “angry tirades,” are reportedly known to ask one another: “Did she throw up on you today?”

The question is apparently in reference to her “volatile” temper.

“Sometimes I yell, sometimes I raise my voice,” Quinn reportedly conceded to the Times. “I am trying to do it less, because it’s not always attractive. It’s not always the right thing to do.”

At the same time, she insisted, “I don’t think being pushy or bitchy or tough, or however you want to characterize it, is a bad thing. New Yorkers want somebody who’s going to get things done.”

The complaints came not just from Quinn’s staff; the Times reported that “more than two dozen current and former city officials, lobbyists and political operatives recounted being berated by Ms. Quinn.”

They apparently requested anonymity out of “a fear of retaliation.”

The Times recounted an incident with Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, in which she apparently issued a statement taking credit for saving local firehouses from budget cuts and did not include praise for Quinn. It reportedly took less than an hour for Quinn to summon Crowley to “a room in City Hall” for a dressing-down.

Additionally, Quinn aide Ramon Martinez reportedly told Crowley, “You don’t know when you shut up.”

Martinez reportedly told the Times he didn’t remember using that language at the time, but might have said that in a separate conversation.

Quinn apparently cut council contributions to senior centers and youth sports programs in Crowley’s district only days later.

When pressed about the issue, Quinn reportedly characterized Crowley’s actions as “completely inappropriate” and “attention-grabbing,” as well as a violation of council protocol.

“She was told it was not acceptable, and I did not mince words in telling her that,” Quinn told the Times.

The Times inquired after the budget cuts as punishment.

“It is what happened that year,” Quinn reportedly responded.

When pressed again, Quinn reportedly smiled and repeated her answer.

Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat.


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