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De Blasio Defends Jails Commissioner Ponte After Daily News Slam

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Mayor Mill de Blasio defended his corrections commissioner Monday, after a New York Daily News editorial called for his ouster following a record-breaking month of inmate violence in city lockups.

Mayor de Blasio said at an unrelated news conference Monday that critics of Department of Correction Commissioner Joseph Ponte "don't know what they are talking about."

The Daily News reported in a front-page story Sunday that there were 22 stabbings and slashings in city jails in July, the most in any single month in 15 years.

An accompanying editorial said Ponte and correction officials can't control jailhouse gangs. The editorial headline advised that it is time to "punt" Ponte.

But de Blasio said Monday that Ponte's the right person to bring culture change to the violence-plagued Rikers Island jail complex.

He called him a reformer with a record of fixing troubled jails.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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