Tags: de blasio | taxpayers | fundraising | defense

De Blasio to Bill NYC Taxpayers for Fundraising Legal Defense

Image: De Blasio to Bill NYC Taxpayers for Fundraising Legal Defense
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (Reuters)

Friday, 30 Jun 2017 01:34 PM

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio says he'll bill taxpayers for about $2 million to reimburse the lawyers who defended him during more than a year of criminal and administrative agency probes into his fundraising practices. 

"A large portion of the bills — around $2 million — relate directly to my public service and decision-making in government," de Blasio said in a message posted on the Website medium.com. "After giving this a great deal of thought, it has become increasingly clear that the most appropriate course of action is to let the city cover costs for legal work tied to government service."

De Blasio had said he would use a private legal defense fund to pay the bills, raising the same pay-to-play questions that had led to probes by then-Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara and District Attorney Cy Vance, and administrative reviews by the state Board of Elections and the city Conflict of Interest Board. 

Ultimately, criminal grand juries and administrative reviews yielded no criminal or civil charges concerning the mayor's conduct. The investigations focused on the now-defunct Campaign for One New York -- a non-profit financed with millions of dollars from developers, unions and others doing business with the city -- to advance his policy agenda in the state Legislature. Other probes related to de Blasio's efforts to raise and spend millions of dollars in a failed effort to elect a Democratic majority in the state Senate in 2014.

"All legal efforts on my behalf are not paid for by the taxpayer," de Blasio said in February. About $300,000 worth of legal bills relating to de Blasio's non-governmental campaign fundraising "will be paid for with private dollars donated to a legal defense fund," the mayor's Friday statement said.

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New York Mayor Bill de Blasio says he'll bill taxpayers for about $2 million to reimburse the lawyers who defended him during more than a year of criminal and administrative agency probes into his fundraising practices.
de blasio, taxpayers, fundraising, defense
287
2017-34-30
Friday, 30 Jun 2017 01:34 PM
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