New York City

Long Island Campaign Donor Pleads Guilty to Trying to Bribe NYC Official

A Long Island restaurateur pleaded guilty in federal court to trying to bribe a New York City elected officials The New York Times identifies as Mayor de Blasio.

Newly released court documents show that Harendra Singh pleaded guilty in a Long Island courtroom in October 2016 to conspiring to commit bribery and honest services wire fraud in connection with campaign contributions.

The mayor was not named in the documents, but referred to as a city official.

A message seeking comment from Singh's lawyer, Anthony La Pinta, was not immediately returned.

Singh was arrested in an unrelated scheme to bribe a Long Island politician and became a cooperating witness for federal prosecutors investigating de Blasio's fundraising. The mayor was never charged with accepting a bribe.

In responding to Singh's guilty plea, mayoral spokesman Eric Phillips told the Times the allegations against the administration were never proven.

"They are old news that's been widely reported and reviewed extensively by federal prosecutors before they closed their investigation," said Phillips. "We make decisions on the merits. Period."

And when questioned directly Wednesday about the case, de Blasio said "don’t know anything about that specifically. I only heard about Nassau."

In his 2016 plea, Singh also pleaded guilty to bribery schemes involving local government officials and several businesses on Long Island.

Details of the plea were unsealed on Tuesday in connection with the trial of former Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, who faces federal corruption charges.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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