Sunday, December 11, 2016

Prosecutors Probing NYC Mayor de Blasio’s Fund Raising

Federal and New York State law enforcement authorities are probing New York City Mayor de Blasio’s fund-raising.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara is examining whether anyone in the Mayor's Administration engaged in extortion or bribery, either by making an explicit quid-pro-quo exchange of money for favors or by using the power of the Mayoralty for the personal benefit of bolstering Campaign chests.

Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. is investigating whether de Blasio’s drive to place the State Senate under Democratic control by unseating upstate Republicans was a misdemeanor violation of Election law. Rather than encourage individuals to write checks to Democratic candidates under donation limits, de Blasio’s team targeted deep-pocketed donors to write checks of up to $103,000 to upstate Political Party Committees which are supposed to use such gifts only for general Party purposes.

Instead, de Blasio’s team, the Democratic State Senate Committee and several small upstate Democratic Committees coordinated in targeting the funds toward individual races, according to Risa Sugarman, Chief Enforcement Officer of the State Board of Elections. Sugarman saw a scheme “to evade contribution limits and to disguise the true names of the contributors.” She recommended Criminal Prosecution for a “willful and flagrant” violation of the law.

De Blasio’s lawyers insist the Senate effort was legal.

The State Joint Commission on Public Ethics has zeroed in on whether donations by lobbyists and their clients constituted illegal gifts to City officials.

City politicians are forbidden from taking money from businesses or individuals doing business with the City.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
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