Federal prosecutors and FBI agents plan to grill Mayor Bill de Blasio today, as they wind down a year-long investigation into the mayor’s campaign fundraising practices.
The inquiry into whether the administration traded political favors for donations to de Blasio’s 2013 campaign has recently has honed in on the mayor’s relationship with Brooklyn landlord Moishe Indig, who held a fundraiser for de Blasio in 2013.
Indig, a rabbi in the influential Satmar Hasidic community in Williamsburg, was on the Village Voice’s 10 Worst Landlords list in 2010. Prosecutors are looking into whether City Hall advocated for Indig as a result of his support for the mayor.
De Blasio has defended his fundraising practices, though he’s said his administration is cooperating with the federal inquiry. “We are absolutely confident that the mayor and our City Hall staff have acted appropriately and well within the law at all times,” spokesman Eric Phillips told the Times.
Separately, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. has been investigating the mayor’s fundraising, as is the FBI. Friday’s questioning is to take place at the offices of Kramer Levin in Midtown.
In addition to Indig, prosecutors are also looking into the mayor’s relationship with Harendra Singh, who operated a wedding venue in a city-owned property in Long Island City. City Hall became involved in lease negotiations in 2014 and 2015. In the midst of negotiations, Singh was arrested on unrelated fraud and bribery charges.
In December, de Blasio’s campaign was fined nearly $48,000 for allegedly spending public campaign funds on plane tickets for his son, a makeup artist of this family and a part to celebrate his 2013 election. [NYT] — E.B. Solomont