Real estate executive and mayoral candidate Paul Massey is turning up the heat on his opponent Bill de Blasio, claiming the mayor’s arrangement with a law firm could be in violation of criminal and state laws.
De Blasio is being investigated over fundraising, the New York Post reported. Law firm Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel is representing him. Massey, a Cushman & Wakefield executive who is running for mayor, wrote to District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. and U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara last week, according to the newspaper.
Massey wants them to “determine whether a thing a value, an illegal campaign contribution, or a failure by the mayor to pay lawfully rendered bills represents a violation of criminal law, the New York City Charter, or New York State ethics laws.” Massey described the arrangement as one that “no ordinary person or business entity could secure.”
Representatives for the mayor previously said that no taxpayer dollars will be used to pay the lawyers, saying outside funds from a yet-to-be established account will be used. Legal defense funds are not subject to the same disclosure requirements as campaign accounts, and government watchdogs have expressed concern about the arrangement.
Massey, who is one of the heads of Cushman & Wakefield’s investment sales division in New York, raised $1.6 million between July and January. Bob Knakal, James Nelson and HFF Boston executive director John Fowler were Massey’s top fundraisers. [NYP] — Miriam Hall