The Real Deal New York

Donor to de Blasio said mayor looked the other way on illegal contributions

Harendra Singh said mayor told him “Do whatever you got to do.”
March 23, 2018 09:00AM

From left: Harendra Singh, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Water’s Edge (Credit: Google Maps)

A major donor to Mayor Bill de Blasio testified on Thursday that the politician turned a blind eye when he told him he would need to set up illegal campaign contributions.

Former Queens restaurateur Harendra Singh testified that, after warning de Blasio he would need to reimburse donors, the mayor responded, “Listen, I don’t know, I don’t want to know. Just do whatever you got to do,” according to the Daily News.

Singh has pleaded guilty to charges of bribery and said that he fundraised for de Blasio in hopes of gaining favorable treatment from the administration at his Long Island City restaurant the Water’s Edge, which sat on city-owned land that he paid rent on. He is testifying as a witness for the prosecution in the trial of former Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano.

Prosecutors announced last March that they would not charge de Blasio with criminal activity.

Singh testified that he had two conversations about reimbursing donors with the mayor, and both times his response was “I don’t want to know.” He estimated he raised between $50,000 and $80,000 for de Blasio from 2011 to 2014.

Eric Phillips, press secretary for de Blasio, responded to the allegations by telling the Daily News, “This administration acted appropriately at all times, as we’ve said several thousand times.” [NYDN]Eddie Small