De Blasio gave top-level job to former NYPD official after receiving call from real estate investor: report

Jona Rechnitz reportedly requested appointment as a "favor"

TRD New York /
Sep.September 14, 2016 08:58 AM

Mayor Bill de Blasio gave a retired police official a high-level position in his administration after a key donor called him and requested the appointment as a “personal favor,” according to a report. 

Jona Rechnitz, the real estate developer at the center of the NYPD corruption scandal, reportedly made the call from the office of Philip Banks III, at the time chief of the police department. According to anonymous sources cited by the New York Post, Rechnitz told de Blasio that he hadn’t asked for much since bundling thousands of dollars in campaign donations to de Blasio, and requested he appoint former chief of department Joseph Esposito as head of the city’s Office of Emergency Management.

Esposito ended up getting the gig, which pays $220,000 a year, in June 2014. The Post doesn’t mention when the call took place, or whether Esposito was considered for the job before the call.

Earlier this year Rechnitz, who heads JSR Capital, pleaded guilty to bribing high-level NYPD officials, including Banks. He is cooperating with federal investigators. Rechnitz’ associate Jeremy Reichberg is charged with corruption. He was reportedly in the room during the call along with Banks, as was Banks’ deputy Michael Harrington, who is also charged with corruption.

In April, de Blasio said that he barely knew Rechnitz and Reichberg and knew of “no favorable municipal action” they received in turn for their donations. [NYP] Konrad Putzier


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Donor tied up with de Blasio’s real estate pal Rechnitz sentenced in NYPD bribery scheme

Donor tied up with de Blasio’s real estate pal Rechnitz sentenced in NYPD bribery scheme

Donor tied up with de Blasio’s real estate pal Rechnitz sentenced in NYPD bribery scheme
Jona Rechnitz says he pressured de Blasio to help friend in lawsuit against SL Green

Jona Rechnitz says he pressured de Blasio to help friend in lawsuit against SL Green

Jona Rechnitz says he pressured de Blasio to help friend in lawsuit against SL Green
Jona Rechnitz says he was given mayor’s cell, told to “always be in touch”

Jona Rechnitz says he was given mayor’s cell, told to “always be in touch”

Jona Rechnitz says he was given mayor’s cell, told to “always be in touch”
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation's Andrew Berman (Photos via Getty; iStock; Neighbor2Neighbor Greenwich Village)

Move over, artists: Soho rezoning blueprint calls for more apartments, legal retail

Move over, artists: Soho rezoning blueprint calls for more apartments, legal retail
City’s new Open Storefronts program will allow shop owners to sell their wares on sidewalks (Getty)

NYC to allow store owners to sell wares on sidewalks

NYC to allow store owners to sell wares on sidewalks
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio (iStock)

Manhattan theaters sue Cuomo, de Blasio over Covid restrictions

Manhattan theaters sue Cuomo, de Blasio over Covid restrictions
A view of the Wise Towers at 117 West 90th Street (Google Maps)

Tension rises as public housing gets private management

Tension rises as public housing gets private management
New York City council member Margarate Chin, Mayor Bill de Blasio and council member Carlina Rivera (Getty; iStock)

Why the Soho rezoning will pass — and Gowanus, too

Why the Soho rezoning will pass — and Gowanus, too
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...