NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)– Mayor Bill de Blasio was in the public eye and on the hot seat for the first time since CBS2 exclusively disclosed his fundraising activities are being investigated by the FBI.
De Blasio was clapping up a storm at the Latino Pastoral Action Center in the Bronx as he stands at the center of a storm; an aggressive review of his fundraising activities by the feds, CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported.
“The U.S. attorney seemed to be asking some of the same questions as good government groups have been asking about your fundraising activities. I wonder how you feel about the fact that the U.S. attorney is putting your fundraising under a miscroscope?” Kramer asked the mayor.
“Marcia, respectfully, I have no evidence of that fact. I’ve gotten no inquiry from any office. No one associated with me has gotten an inquiry and I just can’t comment on something I have no specifics on,” he replied. “We’ve gotten no indication of that and until we have something specific to respond to, there’s nothing to respond to.”
The probe into how de Blasio collects donations is reportedly part of a wide-ranging corruption investigation centered on two businessmen with ties to the mayor.
Jeremy Reichberg and Jona Rechnitz both served on his inaugural committee and either donated or helped raise money for him.
As CBS2 reported last Friday, sources said the feds are questioning members of the real estate industry about donations solicited by team De Blasio, including former campaign treasurer Ross Offinger.
Kramer asked the mayor about Offinger’s actions.
“I think he’s handled everything with integrity and everything appropriately,” he said.
Taps on telephones of the two businessmen have also ensnared members of the NYPD. About 20 officers have been questioned about allegations that they may have improperly received gifts and trips.
Police Commissioner William Bratton removed four of the NYPD’s most senior men from their command posts last week.
The mayor made his first comments regarding the decision.
“I absolutely believe when Commissioner Bratton decides that something like that is necessary, that it’s well merited. It sends a message to everyone about the standards we have to keep,” he said.
The investigation is far from over. Both the U.S. attorney and the police department have many more questions.