Mayor Questioned by Manhattan DA's Office in Ongoing Fundraising Probe
There are new questions about the status of federal and state investigations into Mayor Bill de Blasio and his aides, after the mayor admitted Wednesday that he met with officials from the Manhattan district attorney's office a few weeks ago. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report.
Mayor Bill de Blasio says he met with prosecutors from the Manhattan district attorney's office. An aide says the sit-down took place in late December.
"The Manhattan DA's office asked for an interview, and we did an interview," de Blasio said. "It was a few weeks back."
The work de Blasio and his top aides did to support Democrats running for state Senate seats in 2014 is under investigation. So what exactly did prosecutors ask him?
"I'm not going to characterize it," de Blasio said. "It was fine."
The admission was made at an unrelated news conference in Brooklyn about pedestrian safety. It is the first time the mayor has said he has been personally drawn into the multiple probes underway since last spring.
The Manhattan DA's office is focused on whether his fundraising efforts to help Democratic candidates violated campaign finance laws. The U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan has its own probe into possible pay-to-play politics, involving the mayor's now-defunct nonprofit group, the Campaign for One New York.
The mayor says he has not testified before a grand jury, and he says he has not been notified that he is the target of a grand jury investigation.
The mayor has said repeatedly that he and his team have done nothing wrong.
The city has been prepared to spend up to $10 million on legal bills related to the investigation. Earlier this week, Dean Fuleihan, the city's budget director, said additional money had been added to the budget, but he would not say how much for the de Blasio probes.
"It's for many different cases," Fuleihan said. "We will get you a breakdown."
When NY1 followed up to ask exactly how much more the city was ready to spend on these probes, we were told we would need to wait until the city filed its contract paperwork with the city comptroller.