New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has continued to avoid answering questions regarding a state and federal probe into his administration’s fundraising activities, according to an article in the New York Post.
“Guys, as I’ve said many times, we hold ourselves to the highest standard of integrity,” de Blasio said after an event at CUNY’s Guttman Community College in Manhattan Thursday. “Everything we’ve done from the beginning is legal and appropriate.”
The state board of elections launched an investigation into large donations from New York city unions and other donors last week, which ultimately funded campaigns for Senate Democrats in Putnam, Ulster and Monroe counties. The donations were allegedly made at de Blasio’s request, which is a violation of the state’s campaign finance laws.
Allegedly, De Blasio directed donors to contribute the money to Democratic committees throughout the state, with contribution limits of $103,000; instead of directly donating to candidates’ campaigns, which had contribution limits of $10,300.
The committees then funneled the money directly to Senate candidates.
De Blasio continued to deny any wrongdoing Thursday and Friday, and defended his administration’s fundraising activities.
“Everything was done very carefully, meticulously, with legal guidance all along the way, and consistent with what so many other people have done,” de Blasio told WNYC-AM in Manhattan Friday. “That’s why I’m saying. It’s very interesting that now it becomes subject of these questions, and I think we have to figure out some of the motivations behind this.”
Reportedly, de Blasio has referenced former controversies with Gov. Andrew Cuomo as a possible reason for the probe, in light of the fact that the state’s board of elections chief enforcement counsel Risa Sugarman was a former aide of the governor’s.
“I think people should dig into this question,” de Blasio stated. “I think they should ask the question of how does a state Board of Elections official single us out, apparently not understanding how state election law works, and then leaked their document to the media – which in and of itself may be a violation of law. ”
Presently, neither Gov. Cuomo nor the Manhattan US Attorney’s office have commented on the matter.