Federal and local prosecutors said on Thursday morning that they did not intend to bring criminal charges against Mayor Bill de Blasio or his aides in connection with his campaign fundraising.
“We have been confident from the moment these reviews began that the actions of the mayor and our administration have always been within the law,” the mayor’s press secretary Eric Phillips said in a statement. “The United States attorney and Manhattan district attorney have now put to rest any suggestion otherwise.”
Federal prosecutors were investigating whether or not the mayor or his staff rewarded donors to his 2013 campaign or former nonprofit, Campaign for One New York, with favors.
“After careful deliberation, given the totality of the circumstances here and absent additional evidence, we do not intend to bring federal criminal charges against the mayor or those acting on his behalf relating to the fundraising efforts in question,” acting U.S. Attorney Joon Kim said in a statement.
Meanwhile, state prosecutors were probing de Blasio and his aides’ fundraising for Democrats in the 2014 State Senate election.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said in a letter that while activities of the mayor and his aides “appear contrary to the intent and spirit of the laws that impose candidate contribution limits,” they could not “be appropriately prosecuted.” He added that the decision was “not an endorsement of the conduct at issue.”
While federal prosecutors announced the decision in a brief statement, Vance made clear his reservations in a 10-page letter to the state Board of Elections.
Speaking at an afternoon news conference, de Blasio said it was time to move forward.
“We made clear throughout that we would cooperate in every way and we proceeded to do that,” the mayor said.
De Blasio had met voluntarily with federal prosecutors for more than four hours on Feb. 24.
“Everything was done with the advice of counsel and everything was done according to the law,” he said, adding that it was “time to get back to work.”
“We have huge issues to address in this city and it’s time to focus on the things that New Yorkers face in their everyday lives,” he added.
With Lauren Cook and Newsday