NYC Mayor de Blasio FORCES NYC TAXPAYERS to Pay His Legal Bill for Ethical Issues
When Democrat leaders get in trouble, they get the best attorneys taxpayers can afford.
So it was with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
De Blasio was embroiled in an ethics scandal. He was investigated, and found “not guilty,” which is not innocent, to be clear.
After it was all said and done, de Blasio sticks the taxpayers of NYC with his legal fees. Keep in mind that he promised prior that no way, no how, would he ask the taxpayers to pay his legal fees.
A criminal investigation on ethics isn’t “government service.” Ergo, taxpayers shouldn’t foot the bill.
De Blasio was under investigation from 2016 through March by the Manhattan U.S. Attorney, the Manhattan District Attorney and the state Joint Commission on Public Ethics. The investigation focused on his fund-raising activities.
The investigation closed without criminal charges, but, as reported by the NY Daily News de Blasio isn’t squeaky clean:
Acting U.S. Attorney Joon Kim . . . made clear that he did find evidence that de Blasio and his aides ‘solicited donations from individuals who sought official favors from the City.’ In turn, Kim noted, ‘the mayor made or directed inquiries to relevant City agencies on behalf of those donors.’
De Blasio raised $4.3 million for a nonprofit Campaign For One New York that promoted his causes. The News found at least $3 million came from entities seeking favors from City Hall.
And Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. found that de Blasio’s 2014 efforts to raise huge donations in a failed effort to switch the state Senate to Democratic control were ‘contrary to the intent and spirit’ of laws restricting donation amounts.
Basically, these law enforcement entities did a “Comey.”
They gave all the reasons de Blasio should have been jailed, then did nothing.
Anybody surprised at de Blasio’s reversal? He committed to paying his own way. De Blasio told WCBS radio’s Rich Lamb,
I think because I’m the leader of the operation, it is better not to ask the taxpayers to cover expenses even if they’re valid expenses, right? I mean, this is an investigation involved to some extent things I was doing as part of my official work. Obviously, we were exonerated but I just don’t feel comfortable asking the taxpayers to pay for that piece of the equation.
What a magnanimous soundbite.
However, now he’s decided the taxpayers owe him. After all, the government wronged him.
Further, he was investigated during the course of his “government service”.
Perhaps de Blasio got sticker shock when he was presented with a bill for $2 million. To offset what he deemed his “non-government” part of the costs, roughly $300K, he set up a legal defense fund.
In his self-indulgent message, de Blasio laments:
I have been reluctant to ask taxpayers to shoulder the burden of my compliance with these reviews. But after giving this a great deal of thought, it has become increasingly clear that the most appropriate course of action is to let the City cover the costs for legal work tied to my government service, as it would for any of its employees in a similar situation. [Emphasis added]
As far as what constitutes the government service part and what doesn’t, the mayor side-stepped that question.
De Blasio’s opponent, Republican Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis called the mayor “ethically challenged.” She then slammed de Blasio for his about-face:
After saying he is going to raise the money, (he) is now saying he’s going to use the hardworking taxpayers’ money to pay his legal bills for an investigation that was into political actions — that wasn’t governmental actions that he’s claiming.
De Blasio was hoping for bigger-money donors. However the Campaign Finance Board ruling spoiled his plan.
Based on a March Campaign Finance Board ruling, the amount someone (other than “close friends”) can donate to a de Blasio legal defense fund is $50. Anybody think 40,000 New Yorkers give a crap about a corrupt mayor to donate $50 bucks each?
And then there is the estimated $300K for the “non-government” fees. That requires another 6,000 donors.
Like almost all Democrats, de Blasio is a lying crook. He profits within a rigged system. Then, he leaves his constituents holding the bag.