New York State has begun state and federal corruption investigations into the de Blasio administration fundraising probes.
Separate grand juries began hearing evidence involving NY Mayor Bill de Blasio, related to the state and federal corruption investigations into the de Blasio administration.
Manhattan District Attorney, Cyrus Vance Jr. is conducting the state inquiry and Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara is heading up the federal investigation.
The New York Post reported that the state probe is looking into whether de Blasio and his associates violated election law by raising money and funneling it through upstate Democratic county committees to help elect state Senate candidates and take control of the body from the GOP in the 2014 elections.
The investigation will be looking into de Blasio aides Emma Wolfe and Ross Offinger, and political operative Josh Gold.
Ross Offinger was accused of “willful and flagrant violations” of state law after allegedly coordinating the fund-raising.
“State election law attempts to stop cash from a party committee being funneled to a specific candidate. That maneuver can be used to circumvent limits on individual contributions,” reported the NY Post.
The mayor’s aides allegedly encouraged unions and wealthy supporters to write big money checks to the Ulster and Putnam County Democratic state Senate campaign committees. In turn, the committee funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars to the campaigns of three Democrats in tight races, violating NYS Election laws.
The federal investigation, spearheaded by Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara, who began with a corruption probe into a few de Blasio allies with questionable character and then eventually expanded it into other business owners and a political race in Westchester.
According to the NY Post,
De Blasio friend, Jeremy Reichberg, supposedly bribed NYPD cops with cash and a plane trip to Las Vegas with a hooker in exchange for pistol permits from the NYPD’s License Division for his clients.
Jona Rechnitz was caught bragging to his associates that “I’ve got the mayor on lockdown” and obtained a $220,000-a-year post in the NYPD for ex-Chief of Department Joseph Esposito.
Rechnitz, who donated $50,000 to the mayor’s nonprofit, is now a a cooperating witness in the NYPD scandal.”
The feds also have the cooperation from restaurant owner, Harendra Singh, now facing bribery and tax-evasion charges.
Singh, who was named to the advisory board of the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York, owns The Water’s Edge eatery in Long Island City, Queens, where the de Blasio campaign spent $2,613 on events.
On Thursday de Blasio was fined $47,778 by the city’s Campaign Finance Board, which regulates the program providing taxpayer matching funds to candidates.
Mayor de Blasio has declined to comment when asked about the investigations.
NYC Mayor De Blasio Fined Nearly $50,000 Over 2013 Campaign Finance Violations: https://t.co/grDIwpG7rC
— CB???? (@karma1244) December 16, 2016
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