The Real Deal New York

Aides to de Blasio arranged meetings to assist donor with his lease: emails

Harendra Singh was seeking help with his Queens restaurant Water’s Edge
April 05, 2018 05:00PM

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

New York restaurateur Harendra Singh met with Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office while trying to get his lease renewed at his restaurant in Long Island City, according to emails.

Singh sent an email to top de Blasio aide Emma Wolfe in January 2015 saying he would love to speak with her, and a meeting was arranged soon after, according to the New York Times. Federal prosecutors say this was part of de Blasio’s and his aides’ effort to help Singh in exchange for campaign contributions.

Although de Blasio is not actually involved in the trial, it has raised questions about whether he acted improperly. The defendants in the case are former Nassau County executive Ed Mangano, his wife Linda, and Oyster Bay town supervisor John Venditto.

However, last month Singh was asked about the mayor for the fourth time, and he said de Blasio intervened personally to help him with his restaurant’s lease. He has pleaded guilty to bribing de Blasio and the defendants in the case.

The mayor’s office has denied all wrongdoing, and de Blasio has suggested that Singh is lying to appease prosecutors and avoid jail time.

Singh said in testimony last month that, when he told de Blasio he would have to set up illegal campaign contributions, the mayor told him to “do whatever you got to do.” [NYT]Eddie Small