New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio may have some competition in his race for re-election, as the former NYPD Chief of Department, Philip Banks, is reportedly considering running against him.
Banks, 54, had a 28-year career with the New York Police Department, rising to chief of the department in 2014, before retiring in November of that same year. Since his retirement, he has worked as founder and CEO of a security firm, CitySafe Partners.
Manhattan is abuzz with rumors claiming Banks is being urged by many to run against Mayor de Blasio, and has even met with potential financial backers as he considers the possibility.
In 2016, Banks was reportedly linked to an investigation of two businessmen, Jona Rechnitz and Jeremy Reichberg, who were accused of making campaign donations and improper gifts to high-ranking police officers in exchange for special favors.
Banks had reportedly received a sizable return on investment with one of the businesses, but he was never questioned by the feds. He had reported earning between $250,000 and $500,000 through an investment with JSR Capital, Rechnitz’s company, but his attorney, Ben Brafman, stated in April 2016 that the income was legitimate, and not part of any illegal activities.
“Not one single dollar earned by Mr. Banks while a member of the PD or subsequent to his retirement, is any way related to illegal or corrupt activities,” he said at the time. “All of the money invested by him or on deposit in his accounts is derived from lawfully earned income and his wife’s inheritance after her father passed away.”
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