Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) head Andrew Wheeler threatened to move the agency's offices out of the city and state of New York on Tuesday, arguing that local officials have done little to curb recent riots and violent protesting.
In a letter to both Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio, Wheeler criticized their lack of leadership during the city's current crisis, and their failure to control the chaos during the "Occupy City Hall" protests, which reportedly damaged the EPA office.
Wheeler, an appointee of President Trump, also cited demonstrations against Immigration and Customs Enforcement last week, where at least a dozen people were arrested. He claimed to have been briefed by law enforcement about the group waiting to form a "Portland like" demonstration on the campus they work at, The New York Post reported.
“If you cannot demonstrate that EPA employees will be safe accessing our city offices, then I will begin the process of looking for a new location for our headquarters outside of the city that can maintain order,” the letter read.
Wheeler continued: “I have an obligation to our employees and if the city is unwilling or incapable of doing its job, I will do mine and move them to a location that can competently fulfill the basic mission of a local government.”
He added that he was forced to keep some of his staff home because they feared for their physical well being after access to their office was obstructed.
“The demonstrators engaged in unwarranted, violent activity at the facility, breaking windows and defacing/destroying government property,” Wheeler wrote.
He then chastised both leaders for dereliction of their civil duty as elected officials.
“In the extreme, protesters smashed a turnstile door and forcefully entered the lobby of 26 Federal Plaza,” Wheeler said, “Throughout these incidents, FPS has engaged EPA and other tenants to keep us informed of potential threats. However, maintaining law and order in New York City is not their responsibility; it is yours."
“Public safety is a core mission of state and local governments and your failure to fulfill that mission is putting EPA employees at risk,” he continued.
De Blasio spokeswoman Julia Arredondo told The Post the letter is simply a “political stunt.”
“We know Administrator Wheeler doesn’t understand climate or the environment, just look at his record at the EPA so far, but we did think he could tell time,” she said.
Rich Azzopardi, a senior advisor to Cuomo, provided Fox News with a brief statement saying, "Another day, another transparent political game from this federal government. The fact is the EPA has abandoned every state since 2017 and they should quit playing political flunky and actually do their job.’
This news comes just one day after the Department of Justice declared New York City to be one of three "anarchist jurisdictions," following recent protests and violent mayhem.