New York's comptroller is attempting to stop the city's Snapple sponsorship deal by taking the matter to court. William C. Thompson, who has been ordered by City Mayor Michael Bloomberg not to block the agreement, went to court yesterday to try to nullify the deal.

Thompson claims that the city gave Snapple special preference in the bidding process by allowing the company to be the only contender to bid higher after making a sub-par bid.

Mayor Bloomberg instructed Thompson to register the contract last week, despite conceding that the selection process "may not have been perfect."

The lawsuit is seeking a temporary restraining order stopping the Snapple vending machines from being placed in public buildings, which is scheduled to begin any day now.

Thompson said that the Bloomberg administration "acted in a cavalier disregard for the law and system of checks and balances established by the charter."

Bloomberg countered, saying: "I trust the courts will cut through this political red tape so New Yorkers can benefit from this innovative partnership."

A hearing for the case was set for this afternoon (Thursday).