Updated, 3:17 p.m., Sept. 9: Public Advocate and mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio met with DelShah Capital’s Michael Shah shortly after the landlord donated funds to de Blasio’s campaign, and Shah asked him to help him reduce the taxes he paid on some of his low-income tenant buildings.
In July, Shah – in his first ever donations to city candidates – gave de Blasio the maximum permissible amount of $4,950. He then began bundling – or raising money from several donors – for de Blasio, and raised about $11,850 in total. A few weeks later, de Blasio invited Shah to his office and the landlord discussed his need to reduce his tax burden on a number of his buildings that housed low-income tenants. “We were able to get to where we needed to go, and I really liked him,” Shah told the New York Daily News. “Bill gave me his email, his cell phone number.”
A spokesperson for de Blasio, Wiley Norvell, said that Shah didn’t mention the donations during the meeting, but didn’t comment to the newspaper on whether de Blasio knew that Shah was one of his bundlers. Norvell insisted that the funds did not influence de Blasio in any way, saying: “We advocate aggressively for any tenant, business owner and everyday New Yorker alike that needs help navigating city bureaucracy. That’s our job.”
Shah owns two Staten Island buildings, 195 Steuben Street and 231 Steuben Street, that have racked up more than 200 code violations, according to the Daily News. The number of current violations in those buildings is higher than those at two of the top three Staten Island buildings that are named on de Blasio’s infamous “Worst Landlords” site. [NYDN] – Hiten Samtani
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated de Blasio’s effect on Shah’s tax bill, due to an error in the original New York Daily News story. Shah discussed the tax bill with de Blasio, but there is no evidence to suggest that de Blasio helped him lower it.