Mayor Bill de Blasio is holding off on returning donations from two businessmen, including Jona Rechnitz of JSR Capital, at the center of a federal probe into corruption at the New York City Police Department.
The FBI is investigating whether Rechnitz and another man, Borough Park community leader Jeremy Reichberg, gave gifts and trips to some 20 cops, including top brass, in exchange for favors.
On Wednesday, de Blasio said he is waiting to see the results of the investigation before making any determination about past donations, the New York Post reported.
Rechnitz, an Africa Israel alumnus who heads the Manhattan-based real estate investment firm, donated $50,000 to the mayor’s Campaign for One New York. The political nonprofit, which has had its share of controversy, took in $1.1 million from real estate players, and last month was said to be closing down.
For de Blasio’s mayoral run in 2013, records show Rechnitz and his wife contributed $9,900.
“I think all of you would agree you don’t prejudge the outcome of an investigation,” said de Blasio, the tabloid reported. “But if these individuals are exonerated, that’s one thing; if not, we’ll make a different determination.”
The mayor said the two men did not give him gifts and that he met them in 2013, according to the Post.
Reichberg and Rechnitz, whose father is influential in the Orthodox community, served on de Blasio’s inauguration committee.
In 2013, Rechnitz was planning to build a new condominium or hotel project at 238 Madison Avenue. He won big betting on the Super Bowl twice, winning $25,000 on a $500 bet in 2014 and $50,000 in 2012, according to news reports. [NYP] — Dusica Sue Malesevic