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Mayor's Office Denies Report That De Blasio Stopped Train For Photo Op

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- It's another episode of the MTA and the mayor.

The last one featured drama centering on who was or wasn't paying for subway repairs, now it's about who stopped a train.

The New York Daily News claims an R train was held for a photo op following a de Blasio news conference on Tuesday.

As 1010 WINS' Juliet Papa reported, Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Joe Lhota said no one should be doing that.

"I can only imagine the only one who would hold a train would be a member of service in the NYPD, I can't imagine anyone else doing it," Lhota said.

Mayoral spokesman Eric Phillips said Lhota is right, trains should not be stopped for anyone. He went on to say that no one on City Hall staff would do that, or have it done on their behalf.

Lhota has vowed to investigate.

"It's unacceptable. No one should stop a train for a single individual to get on. This is the people's system, it's not one over another," he said.

Though the mayor's dispatcher denied that the train was stopped, CBS2's Marcia Kramer reported, documents made available to CBS2 from a dispatcher show that the train was held at the station for a 'police check.'

Entrance and exit beacons show 3 minutes and 21 seconds elapsed before the train departed.

Sources told CBS2 most trains stay at the station for a minute and a half.

Lhota said he will look at reports.

"No one has the right to hold a train at all," he said.

The mayor's staff tried to keep CBS2's Kramer in a press pen, as the mayor ignored questions about Lhota's investigation.

"City Hall staff certainly wouldn't stop a train and we wouldn't want one stopped on our behalf, even for mere seconds," Phillips said.

Transit Union President John Samuelson called the mayor's behavior 'shameful.'

"New York City transit workers know what happened, he can deny it all he wants, he's a liar," Samuelson said.

The mayor is also under fire for denying that police swept the homeless off the subways before he rode on Sunday, despite a police memo.

All this came as Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he was making hundreds of millions of dollars of state funds available immediately for the MTA's new subway action plan.

Cuomo also called on the mayor to do the same, saying there was no time for delay, 'no tolerance for a lack of commitment.'



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