Two separate grand juries are hearing testimony on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s campaign fundraising, anonymous sources told The New York Times.
A state investigation is examining whether the mayor or his staff, particularly top aide Emma Wolfe, finance director Ross Offinger and union operative Josh Gold, violated an election law. The probe is in connection to the hundreds of thousands of dollars that were raised in several county committees upstate, and channeled to Democratic contenders the mayor favored in the 2014 state Senate race.
An unrelated federal inquiry, which included current and former city officials as witnesses, is determining if donors benefitted from contributions made to de Blasio’s campaign for mayor in 2013 or his political nonprofit, the paper reported.
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It is possible that the presentation of evidence during the grand jury proceedings means that the investigations that came to light in April could close in a few weeks.
The mayor has denied any wrongdoing, either by him or his aides and “remains focused on running the city,” his spokesman Eric Phillips said Thursday, according to The Times.
It is not known if the investigations will result in criminal charges against de Blasio, but it is possible some of his aides may be charged.
Separately, the mayor was fined $47,778 for election expense violations that included a personal stylist for himself and his family, a payment to a public relations firm, an Election Night makeup artist, a flight for his son, Dante, and suspicious “finance prospecting meetings” in the California city where his daughter, Chiara, attends college.