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The New York City comptroller Wednesday sued the administration of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg over its $126 million contract with beverage vendor Snapple, alleging that the agreement was the result of a “backroom deal.” The five-year contract gives Snapple exclusive rights to sell its drinks in public city buildings, including courthouses. Under the contract, Snapple will market itself as the city’s official drink. Comptroller William C. Thompson has assailed the contract since it was announced, saying that officials in the city’s marketing department favored Snapple over other bidders and perhaps did not get enough money for the contract. “The Administration sold Snapple the exclusive right to use our City’s name in a backroom deal,” Thompson said in a statement. “Today we are asking the court to ensure that this cannot happen without an open, transparent, public process.” Thompson’s suit was filed in Manhattan Supreme Court and assigned to Justice Richard F. Braun. The suit alleges that the contract violates the City Charter because it was not properly reviewed and vetted by the Franchise and Concession Review Committee. Mayor Bloomberg responded to the suit by saying he expected the courts to “cut through this political red tape.” “It is puzzling that the Comptroller is trying to deprive the City of $126 million in revenue we sorely need during these tough fiscal times,” the mayor said in a statement. Corporation Counsel Michael A. Cardozo said in a statement, “We will vigorously oppose the lawsuit, which we believe to be without merit.”

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