De Blasio Says Campaign Team Broke No Laws

Mayor Bill de Blasio is facing new questions three days after The Daily News published a memo from state election officials asking whether he pressured donors to circumvent campaign finance laws. 

The memo asked if de Blasio had urged billionaire John Catsimitidis and others to donate to the obscure Putnam County Democratic Committee to help upstate Democrats in 2014 seize control of the state Senate. 

The author of the memo, state Board of Elections Chief Enforcement Officer Risa Sugarman, wrote, "I have determined that reasonable cause exists to believe a violation warranting criminal prosecution has taken place. The violations discovered by this investigation can only be described as a willful and flagrant." 

Asked about the memo, de Blasio said Monday, "It's outrageous, and again, I don't know what's motivating it." 

He said he could "unequivocally" say his campaign team broke no laws and that anything his team did was completely legal.

"My predecessor and so many other people lived by those exact same standards," he said. "I think it speaks for itself."

"Unfortunately it's the law of the land right now, so that's what we deal with," he said. 

De Blasio has not been accused of any specific wrongdoing. His campaign lawyer, Laurence Laufer, on Sunday wrote a letter, which was obtained by The Associated Press, to the Board of Elections, accusing the group of selective, politically motivated enforcement and leaking confidential investigative material to the media.

The new questions follow a federal probe into fundraisers Jona Rechnitz and Jeremy Reichberg amid allegations those wealthy backers sent NYPD officials expensive gifts in exchange for favors. One retired chief, Phil Banks, denies any wrongdoing, while several other top police commanders have been reassigned. 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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