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De Blasio accused of ‘willful and flagrant’ campaign violations

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New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) could face legal trouble for “willful and flagrant” fundraising violations, a head investigator for the state’s Board of Elections determined, according to a New York Daily News report

{mosads}”I have determined that reasonable cause exists to believe a violation warranting criminal prosecution has taken place,” Board of Elections Chief Enforcement Officer Risa Sugarman wrote in a memo to the board’s commissioners in January. “The violations discovered by this investigation can only be described as willful and flagrant.” 

The board has referred the criminal investigation to the Manhattan Defense Attorney’s office but it is now part of a larger probe by the DA and Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office.  

In the memo, Sugarman discusses what might have been a coordinated effort between de Blasio and his allies to circumvent legal campaign donation limits. 

She said there is evidence that de Blasio’s team intentionally solicited donations much higher than allowed by campaign law for three candidates in upstate races. 

She wrote the activity allowed the team “to evade contribution limits and to disguise the true names of the contributors, conduct which may violate Election law.”  

A de Blasio spokesman brushed off the criminal referral, saying “we are confident that at all times all of our efforts were appropriate and in accordance with the law.”  

De Blasio, a supporter of Democrat Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid, campaigned heavily for her ahead of the New York primary. 

Tags campaign donations Campaign finance Hillary Clinton

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