New York – Several Democratic candidates in the 2014 State Senate race have found themselves questioned by the FBI and local investigators in conjunction with their ongoing probe of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s fundraising efforts.
According to the New York Times, multiple sources have confirmed that state grand jury subpoenas were served to several candidates who were part of a failed push by Democrats to wrest control of the State Senate from the Republican party. A number of those candidates have been interviewed by investigators.
de Blasio is said to have made his top strategists available to candidates throughout the state and personally soliciting donations for the race, cold calling major donors to ask for sizable financial support. Investigators are trying to determine if those monies were funneled to smaller county committees before being diverted back to candidates in the more highly contested Senate races. Unlike candidates’ committees, the county committees have no fundraising limits.
de Blasio does not appear to be a target of the investigation. Spokesmen for the both the mayor’s reelection campaign and the New York City Department of Law would not say if he had been subpoenaed in connection with the probe.
The FBI is continuing its investigation into fundraising activities by de Blasio’s mayoral campaign, paying a visit to former finance director Ross Offinger early Monday morning. It is unclear if agents intended to serve Offinger, who was not home, with a subpoena.
Sources said that the subpoenas issued this week were all related to the mayor’s Campaign for One New York, a non-profit that was shut down last month. Critics charged that the group placed a higher priority on de Blasio’s pet projects, as well as those of lobbyists and businesses, than on city affairs.
As previously reported on VIN News, the two men at the center of the NYPD probe both had ties to Campaign for One New York, with Jeremy Reichberg hosting a fundraiser for the group in his home and Jona Rechnitz making a $50,000 donation to the non-profit.