It turns out another watchdog is probing Mayor de Blasio’s defunct non-profit fundraising group “The Campaign for One New York.”
The state’s ethics watchdog, the Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE), confirmed to The City that there is an ongoing investigation into the group. The commission has already settled two cases as part of the probe, including hitting James Capalino, a lobbyist who improperly provided gifts to public officials, with at $40,000 fine.
It was revealed earlier this week that de Blasio’s group raised money from companies with business before the city, including developers Toll Brothers and the Park Tower Group, violating conflict-of-interest rules.
Toll Brothers was approached twice by De Blasio’s group, according to a report from the city’s Department of Investigation. The company donated $25,000 in February 2014 while they were seeking permission from the Landmarks Preservation Commission to build a Greenwich Village co-op. The commission approved the project later that year.
Meanwhile, Park Tower Group was solicited for donations in 2015, while negotiating with city agencies about subsidies at the massive Greenpoint Landing residential complex in Brooklyn. The developer gave $50,000 in March 2015. The project received millions of dollars in tax incentives.
De Blasio shutdown the Campaign for One New York in early 2016 after government watchdog group Common Cause filed a complaint alleging the group was misusing its donations for political purposes.
The Manhattan U.S. Attorney found evidence that the mayor had taken action that benefitted some of the group’s donors, but closed its investigation without filing criminal charges. [The City] — Decca Muldowney