New York City

State, Federal Prosecutors Clear NYC Mayor De Blasio in Campaign, Donor Probes

The mayor and his lawyers had recently met with a variety of prosecutors

What to Know

  • State and federal prosecutors cleared Mayor de Blasio in parallel investigations on Thursday
  • State officials were looking into campaign finance violations, while federal authorities were investigating favors for donors
  • A recent poll showed de Blasio heavily favored to be re-elected this year despite the two probes

State and federal prosecutors cleared Mayor de Blasio Thursday in two separate, long-running probes into campaign financing and favors for donors.

Addressing the matter at a news briefing Thursday afternoon, de Blasio said the conclusions reached by investigators in both probes validate the position his administration has long maintained.

"My staff and my colleagues and I have acted in a manner that was legal and appropriate and ethical throughout," the mayor said. "This is something I feel very strongly about in public service, that we have to comport ourselves in a proper manner and we have done that and that has been confirmed by the results of this investigation."

The surprise announcements, issued just minutes apart, were a major victory for the mayor, who is up for re-election this year. Recent polls give him a commanding lead, even as they also showed deep-seated voter skepticism about whether he had done anything wrong. 

The Manhattan district attorney's office said it was ending a probe into whether the mayor and associates improperly funneled campaign donations toward upstate Senate races.

A letter from District Attorney Cy Vance to the state's Board of Elections said the activities of de Blasio's associates "appear contrary to the intent and spirit of the laws that impost candidate contribution limits," but that they could not be prosecuted nonetheless. 

Minutes after Vance's statement, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Manhattan said it was also ending a separate investigation into whether official favors were done for campaign donors.

"Although it is rare that we issue a public statement about the status of an investigation, we believe it appropriate in this case at this time, in order not to unduly influence the upcoming campaign and Mayoral election," Acting U.S. Attorney Joon Kim said in a statement. 

De Blasio shied away from linking Kim's decision to last week's firing of the prosecutor's predecessor, Preet Bharara. 

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