NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The state inspector general has revealed who leaked a document claiming Mayor Bill de Blasio’s team broke campaign finance laws.
WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reported the leaker is John Conklin, the spokesman for the Board of Elections and a former legislative director for Senate Republicans. Conklin admitted it under questioning by the inspector general’s office.
CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported that for weeks de Blasio insisted that Gov. Andrew Cuomo was the puppeteer, pulling the strings on the release of the controversial report charging the mayor may have circumvented campaign finance limits in his unsuccessful campaign to defeat Senate Republicans in 2014.
However, it is not known how Conklin got his hands on the memo that triggered the Manhattan district attorney’s investigation of the mayor’s state Senate fundraising effort.
De Blasio’s campaign lawyer told WCBS 880 in a statement that it shows the document’s author, elections investigator Risa Sugarman, failed to secure it. Sugarman is Cuomo’s appointee, along with the inspector general.
“The IG’s report confirms that Ms. Sugarman’s office failed to secure the confidentiality of the memo, and raises serious questions about the BOE’s management and policies,” Laurence Laufer said. “If anyone should apologize, it is surely the BOE.”
Sugarman demanded an apology.
“Allegations were made primarily by the New York City Mayor that I leaked the report due to political motivations,” Sugarman said. “Now that we know the facts, I hope the mayor will apologize for maligning my integrity and professionalism.”
Some Board of Elections staffers and lawyers told the inspector general that just because a document said privileged and confidential, it doesn’t necessarily make it so.
The report concluded a lack of a clear policy on that can’t be used as an excuse for future misconduct.
The inspector general also noted that after the Board of Elections press officer sent the report to a reporter, he also sent it to a member of the Senate Republican press staff.