Investigators Examine Mayor's Effort to Help Democrats Reclaim State Senate in 2014
A federal investigation into Mayor Bill de Blasio's fundraising is
turning into a potential scandal for his administration, and there
are new developments regarding the mayor's work to elect Democrats
to the state Senate in 2014. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report.
Mayor Bill de Blasio is under a microscope. Investigators are
examining the mayor's effort to help Democrats take over the state
Senate in 2014. A source familiar with the investigation tells NY1
that that the state Board of Elections conducted its own probe and
found the mayor's team appears to have deliberately violated campaign
finance laws. The board referred the case to the Manhattan district
Investigators are also looking at his relationship with opponents of
the horse-carriage industry. The group leading the campaign to ban the
horses says it was subpoenaed by federal and city prosecutors on
In an interview on WNYC, the mayor insisted he was embracing the
"I believe everything we did was legal and appropriate and careful. I welcome this being done and being done promptly," he said.
Promptly is the key word. Daily media reports about new developments
in the investigation are proving to be a distraction at the very
Investigators are looking at the mayor's fundraising more broadly.
Additionally, they are trying to understand how and why the city
lifted a deed on a Lower East Side health care center, which allowed
for the owner to quickly sell it for a $72 million profit.
Political consultant George Arzt says investigations like the ones
the mayor is facing can be debilitating for City Hall. Arzt was Mayor
Ed Koch's press secretary when the Koch administration was reeling
from a massive corruption scandal at the Parking Violations Bureau in
"We were consumed by the investigations," Arzt said.
"It saps the energy of an administration. And it never touched
the mayor, obviously, but the mayor was deeply depressed at that
As stories about the investigation broke, the mayor may have
benefited from an unexpectedly competitive presidential primary in New
York that distracted from his own problems. But now that the
candidates have moved on, the focus is back on City Hall.