De Blasio Corruption Revealed: Letter Tried to Hide NYC Mayor Reveals He Solicited Large Donations from Developers After Giving Them Green Light to Build and Disregarded Ethics Council Order to Quit
- The city’s Conflicts of Interest Council sent the 2018 letter, which De Blasio kept under wraps for years
- It was eventually revealed after a legal battle with the New York Times, which funded de Blasio’s side with taxpayers’ money.
- Brief reveals fundraising efforts on behalf of his now-defunct One New York nonprofit campaign
- De Blasio failed to give three of his donors the required warning, saying he can’t help them if they donate, or hinder them if they don’t.
- That refusal happened in 2019, when the city’s Investigation Department found that the mayor had broken ethical laws
- The mayor received donations of more than $150,000 from three specific developers and customers of one of the developers who were given permission to build in the city.
Lame duck New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is in hot water after a city ethics committee revealed he had solicited donations from major developers after giving them the go-ahead to build in New York.
The city’s Conflicts of Interest Council has sent out the 2018 letter, which De Blasio has fought for years to keep a secret, revealing fundraising efforts on behalf of his now-defunct campaign for One New York not-for-profit.
That refusal happened in 2019, when the city’s Investigation Department found that the mayor was violating ethical laws by getting donations from three specific developers who were allowed to build in the city.
The donors in question: James Capalino of Capalino and Associates, who gave the mayor $10,000; David Von Spreckelsen, president of Toll Brothers who donated $25,000; and Jeffrey Levine, president of Douglaston Development, who also gave $25,000.
In addition to the $10,000, Capalino arranged with his clients to give de Blasio’s nonprofit an additional $90,000.
Bill de Blasio has been convicted of soliciting donations from developers who have been given the green light to build in NYC
David Von Spreckelsen (pictured left) of Toll Brothers was one of the backers of the Blasio and donated $25,000.
Jeffrey Levine – President of Douglaston Development – donated $25,000 to de Blasio’s nonprofit, Campaign for One New York
The mayor asked these three developers — all of whom had business for city agencies — to support Campaign for One New York. He failed to provide the required disclaimer, saying it “would result in no official favor or displeasure,” the New York Times found.
“By requesting these three donations from companies with cases pending with executive agencies, and by failing to provide disclaimers, you not only disregarded the Council’s repeated written advice, but you even gave the appearance of coercion and improper access to you.” and your staff who, according to the advice of the Board of Directors, tried to help you avoid,” the letter from the city’s ethics panel reads.
“An official who deals directly with such requests, either directly or through a surrogate, is acting in violation of the official task of that official, in violation of the City Statute,” it continues.
The mayor skated federal fundraising charges in 2017, as the board agreed not to punish the mayor for disbanding the organization.
The New York City Council has passed a law banning this type of inappropriate fundraising activity.
James Capalino gave $10,000 to de Blasio’s nonprofit and let his clients bring in another $90,000
Jeffrey D. Friedlander was appointed to the New York City Conflict of Interest Board in March 2017
Campaign for One New York began as a way to promote de Blasio’s eventually implemented universal pre-K program, but eventually became a general nonprofit pushing its own agenda.
The mayor’s calls at the time were to support affordable housing legislation and his efforts to achieve Universal Pre-K for every child in New York City, which is now a national model. He has consistently acted in good faith and followed the process laid out for him,” said Danielle Filson, City Hall press officer. “The Council closed these cases and determined that no enforcement action was required.”
The detectives themselves have investigated the activities. The Times reported that the mayor has $300,000 in legal debts arising from his defense.
It’s unclear how much all this cost New York City’s taxpayers, as the city’s legal department worked to keep the letters from the arbitration board secret.