The mayor was upset. He had been accused in print of repeatedly engaging in unseemly behaviour. "Ridiculous," the mayor, Mr Bill de Blasio of New York, said of the allegation. A spokesman for him tossed in "absurd and untrue".
And what, you may wonder, was the supposed misconduct? According to unidentified former aides quoted in The New York Post, a tabloid that looks kindly on Mr de Blasio about as often as the musical Hamilton plays to an empty house, he likes to nap during the day.
We'll pause to give you a chance to gasp.
Back to the story.
Yes, these sources said, he regularly stretches out on a couch in his City Hall office and zonks out for a while. When asked about it on a television news show, Mr de Blasio took umbrage and said The Post routinely makes things up about him and chooses to "focus on everything negative, even when it's not true".
What's interesting in this squabble is not where reality lies; we confess to not being privy to the mayor's sleeping habits.
The striking thing is the presumption on the part of everyone involved that a timeout to recharge the batteries is somehow unacceptable for an elected official - a "negative", as mayor Bill de Blasio of New York put it.
The striking thing is the presumption on the part of everyone involved that a timeout to recharge the batteries is somehow unacceptable for an elected official - a "negative", as the mayor put it.
He isn't the only major New York politician who publicly says no to dozing. Diving into this controversy, The Daily News asked others if they were nappers.
"I never have been," Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York replied. "Not a pattern of behaviour" for her, said New York City Council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. No way, Ms Letitia James, the public advocate, told The Post.
They may have been telling the truth. In which case, perhaps they'd do well to give this matter a second thought. It is well-established that a brief rest during the day can be the ticket to staying alert, improving productivity and reducing on-the-job mistakes.
While acknowledging on its website that "napping isn't always the best option for everyone", the National Sleep Foundation champions its benefits, and notes that famous snoozers include Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison.
Not bad company to keep. More and more businesses get it, and encourage employees to consider midday shut-eye. In Silicon Valley, "nap pods" are a perk at some companies.
Still, the stigma clings stubbornly. Naps are seen as a sign of laziness or of weakness, as something needed only by the very young, the very old or the very infirm.
The de Blasio episode shows that accusations of napping can be a formidable line of attack in New York, which fancies itself, after all, as the city that never sleeps. Maybe it should nod off, at least for a few minutes a day, and proudly admit it.