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De Blasio says NYC will terminate three of Trump's Central Park contracts - for carousel, two rinks

The contracts at the Central Park carousel and the Wollman and Lasker skating rinks were already set to expire in the spring.

January 14, 2021 12:25pm

Updated: January 14, 2021 1:44pm

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio says the city will terminate with the Trump Organization, suggesting the legal basis for the move was that President Trump incited demonstrators to storm the U.S. Capitol Building, which was a "criminal act."

"The president incited a rebellion against the United States government that killed five people and threatened to derail the constitutional transfer of power," de Blasio said in a statement. "The City of New York will not be associated with those unforgivable acts in any shape, way or form, and we are immediately taking steps to terminate all Trump Organization contracts."

The three contract are for Central Park public entertainment facilities – the Michael Friedsam Memorial Carousel and the Lasker and Wollman skating rinks.

The Democratic mayor says the contracts will be terminated in February. However, Politico reports they were set to expire this spring. 

New York City had a $2.5 million, 10-year contract for the carousel, set to expire April 9. The contract between the city and the Trump Organization for the two skating rinks was going to expire on April 30, also according to Politico.

The city will also reportedly terminate a fourth contract – a $6.15 million, 20-year deal with the Trump Organization to manage a golf course in the Bronx that is not set to expire until April 30, 2032.

City Corporation Counsel James Johnson said that the contracts include "at-will provisions" that give de Blasio the authority to terminate them.

"The evidence is clear that he invited criminal conduct," Johnson said. "We don't have to wait for standard of proof that you would require at a criminal trial."

De Blasio said the Trump Organization earns about $17 million a year in profits from its contracts to run the ice rinks, carousel and golf course.

A Trump Organization spokesperson said the city can’t cancel the contracts.

"The City of New York has no legal right to end our contracts and if they elect to proceed, they will owe The Trump Organization over $30 million dollars," the spokesperson said in an emailed statement to the Associated Press. "This is nothing more than political discrimination, an attempt to infringe on the First Amendment and we plan to fight vigorously."

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