New York, NY – As probes of alleged wrongdoing within both the NYPD and City Hall continue, Mayor Bill de Blasio acknowledged that he had recently been interviewed by prosecutors from Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance’s office, the first time the mayor has ever confirmed any direct contact with investigators.
de Blasio was questioned about the interview at a Wednesday press conference at City Hall on Vision Zero. Asked by a reporter if he was the target of a grand jury investigation, the mayor responded “no, absolutely.”
“The Manhattan DA’s office asked for an interview and we did an interview,” de Blasio responded to a second reporter who inquired about any grand jury proceedings that might involve the mayor.
de Blasio, who has maintained his innocence all through the months-long investigations,
said that he had been accompanied by his lawyers during the interview. He told reporters that he was unsure exactly when the interview took place but would release those details.
Asked if he could elaborate further on the interview, the mayor replied, “I’m not going to characterize it. It was fine.”
Sources said that the 90 minute interview took place on December 23rd and focused on de Blasio’s failed attempts to help Democrats take control of the State Senate in 2014, reported The New York Times.
As previously reported on VIN News (http://bit.ly/2k5x8bb), state investigators have been reviewing whether the mayor funneled personally solicited donations from large donors to county committees which have no fundraising limits, before channeling them back to candidates in hotly contested Senate races.
A separate federal investigation is focusing on possible efforts by the mayor and city officials to provide preferential treatment in exchange for political donations. Grand juries have been convened in both investigations.
Sources said that mayoral aide Emma Wolfe, fundraiser Ross Offinger and former mayoral consultant Josh Gold are all considered to be targets of the ongoing investigation. One law enforcement source who agreed to be interviewed only on condition of anonymity said that the state investigation could be completed as soon as February.
Spokespersons at both District Attorney Vance’s office and the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York both declined to comment on the case.