New 'Agents of the City' Documents Released After de Blasio's 'Pay to Play' Investigation Meeting
Shortly after Mayor Bill de Blasio met with the U.S. Attorney's office Friday morning, City Hall released a trove of documents concerning communications between the de Blasio administration and outside advisors, known as the "Agents of the City." NY1's Bobby Cuza dug through the documents and filed the following report on what he found.
On what turned out to be a bad news day for the mayor, one where reporters were busy reporting on his meeting with federal investigators, City Hall decided it was a good time to dump some documents — about 1,600 pages in all, including correspondence between the mayor's team and a handful of outside advisors.
One of those advisors is political strategist Jonathan Rosen, who attended strategy sessions and is copied on numerous emails in this is latest batch of records; at the same time, Rosen had clients with business before the city, raising conflict of interest concerns.
The city initially denied a NY1 request for Rosen's emails. NY1 filed suit, and that litigation is ongoing.
The city, however, has released some emails involving him and other so-called "Agents of the City," private consultants who nonetheless worked so closely with the mayor that City Hall is seeking to shield their emails from disclosure.
One email shows the mayor's team meeting at Rosen's firm.
Another outside advisor, John del Cecato, is told in one email that the mayor "would like to start talking to you daily."
And a third agent of the city, Nick Baldick, told that the mayor wants to get in touch, wrote, "He usually calls my cell."
But it's del Cecato who seems closest to the inner circle. De Blasio himself tells his scheduler, "Chirlane and I need a call with him scheduled for this weekend."
Del Cecato was closely involved in speech prep and prep for the mayor's "The Daily Show" appearance in 2014.
And during that year's State of the City speech, del Cecato was even listed in the travel manifest as riding in the mayor's motorcade.
Many of the emails involve mundane logistics. There's also press strategy and some back-and-forth with reporters.
And in many cases, including many emails from the mayor himself, huge portions are redacted to the point where multiple pages are completely blacked out.