Mayor Bill de Blasio today tweaked Republican Congressman Michael Grimm for blowing off a meeting on Sandy rebuilding–after the congressman accused the mayor of refusing to sit down with him at City Hall.
A consultant’s report released today by the city’s Campaign Finance Board suggests the problems with City Comptroller John Liu’s mayoral campaign may have extended far beyond the findings of a federal investigation that resulted in the convictions of a fund-raiser and the campaign’s former treasurer.
The controversy never seems to end in New York City politics.
Upper East Side Assemblyman Micah Kellner–one of the few Assembly Democrats to criticize Speaker Shelly Silver’s handling of the Vito Lopez scandal–is now facing sexual harassment allegations of his own.
The City Council candidate was allegedly the subject of a sexual harassment complaint made by a female staffer four years ago. But, according to the New York Times, the complaint was never referred to the Assembly’s ethics committee, prompting the dismissal of a top Assembly lawyer, Bill Collins.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that he will follow through on his threat to create a Moreland Commission–a powerful committee with subpoena powers–to investigate state legislators after they failed to come to a deal on a proposed new public campaign financing system the governor has tried to sell as an anti-corruption bill.
“That is the direction I am planning to proceed,” Mr. Cuomo told reporters at a press conference in Albany this afternoon, as the legislative session winds to a close.
State Sen. and Queens borough president candidate José Peralta, who was among the seven lawmakers secretly recorded by ex-Sen. Shirley Huntley, has been racking up legal bills, spending tens of thousands of campaign dollars on lawyers’ fees.
Since December, 2011, Mr. Peralta’s senate re-election and 2013 borough president campaigns have spent a combined $53,500.00 in fees to Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP, one of the city’s top election law firms, city and state finance records show. That includes $22,500 in payments from Mr. Peralta’s campaign for borough president–about a quarter of the total $88,873 the campaign has spent so far, the filings show.
This afternoon, courts released a sentencing document for State Senator Shirley Huntley, detailing her cooperation with federal authorities in the wake of her arrest in a bribery scheme. After a slew of corruption scandals have rocked New York State politics in recent weeks, including several of Ms. Huntley’s Albany colleagues, particular attention was placed on the names of officials and staffers caught in Ms. Huntley’s wiretaps. There are nine names on the list.
“I’m not particularly fond of getting the shit kicked out of me by the media all the time,” John Liu told The Observer last week. “But that doesn’t alter the reality.”
The reality, the city’s comptroller said, is not necessarily found in the headlines every morning. For example, he disputes a New York Daily News report that “debunked” his claims of childhood sweatshop work. The New York Post said he “needs to just go away.” And Mr. Liu feels it’s “plainly obvious” that federal prosecutors are driving negative New York Times coverage as they investigate his mayoral campaign for fund-raising improprieties.