A day after his campaign treasurer was arrested on fraud charges, City Comptroller John Liu was back at his public schedule on Wednesday, seemed to distance himself from his campaign staff and said he was still weighing options on a 2013 mayoral run.
Liu was at a Black History Month event at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, but reporters asked him about the Tuesday arrest of Jenny Hou, his 25-year-old campaign treasurer.
The U.S. Attorney's office says Hou was part of a scheme that used straw donors to funnel large, illegal donations to Liu's campaign and that investigators found evidence of at least 40 fraudulent donations.
At certain points, Hou would have taken direct orders from Liu, but the comptroller assured the media that he was not involved with the everyday actions of his campaign.
"At the end of the day, I am fully responsible, but the campaign team ran the day-to-day operations of the campaign," Liu said.
Liu was told that Hou could potentially spend decades in prison, but he did not directly respond.
"Jenny is a very capable individual, someone who's very hardworking that I've come to know and depend upon and no one's hanging anybody out to dry," said the comptroller.
While Liu has not ruled out a 2013 mayoral run, his likely rival, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, said on Wednesday that the comptroller should reflect on whether he should be in the race.
"John has said he is assessing his situation, and that is clearly a situation that comptroller Liu has to answer for himself and for his family," said Quinn.
Hou is charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, attempting to commit wire fraud and obstruction of justice.
In November, a Liu fundraiser, Oliver Pan, was arrested on wire fraud charges and pleaded not guilty.