Paul Massey, a Republican who is challenging New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s re-election, on Tuesday accused de Blasio of fostering a “historic network of unprecedented corruption” and “destroying quality of life for New Yorkers.”
At his first solo news conference, Massey, a real estate executive, criticized de Blasio’s arrangement with a law firm helping him address corruption probes by state and federal prosecutors into his fundraising methods.
Mollie Fullington, Massey’s spokeswoman, said de Blasio is receiving a “special deal” from the law firm of Kramer Levin — an hourly rate of $850, instead of what she says is the firm’s normal rates of $925 and $1,075.
Massey questioned why de Blasio has “no plan in place to pay the bill ... There’s a lot more than smoke in these corruption charges. There’s a fire that won’t be extinguished until the people of New York vote him out of office.”
A spokeswoman for the law firm did not return a message seeking comment.
De Blasio has said he would establish a legal-defense fund and would need to solicit contributions. “I’m not a millionaire or a billionaire,” he said.
Massey offered few specifics about how his policies would differ from de Blasio’s.
On homelessness, which has gone up under de Blasio, Massey said: “It’s a matter of having someone run our shelters appropriately and having supportive services for people who need it most.”
Asked if he backs an expansion of NYPD stop, question and frisk policies, as President Trump does, Massey demurred: “I haven’t established an answer.”
De Blasio, whose opposition to heavy usage of the tactic helped elect him in 2013, responded sarcastically: “The issue really hasn’t been in the news the last few years, so who can blame him? I would suggest you need to have an answer on that one.”
With Laura Figueroa