Well despite my description of this decision as outrageous, it is rational.
The reason it's unsurprising is that we have a system at work in New York in which such behavior is rational. That's the larger and much more important problem. This decision is symptomatic but it's not the disease itself.
Somewhere in the files is a presentation I used to do on "The Regulatory Loop," on how many regulatory behaviors (in any industry) lead the regulated to shift their focus from improved efficiency and improved quality to reduced competition, regulated price fixing, and regulatory compliance as a proxy for true quality, and ultimately to view the regulator as the customer. These behaviors, perfectly understandable lead to higher costs and lower quality and then more regulation and oversight. And then?
Rinse and repeat. Endlessly.