Comptroller John Liu said he’s saddened by the guilty verdict this afternoon against two of his former associates–a one-time campaign treasurer for his mayoral bid and a former donor–but he insisted it’s not going to slow him down.
“I am deeply saddened by the verdict. I continue to believe in Jenny being a good person and exceptional individual,” he said in a statement released by his campaign, referring to Jia “Jenny” Hou, his former aide.
Comptroller John Liu’s mayoral campaign took a significant hit this afternoon when a donor, Xing Wu “Oliver” Pan, and his young former campaign treasurer Jia “Jenny” Hou, were found guilty in federal court for helping to orchestrate a straw donor scheme on his behalf.
“As the jury found, Jia Hou and Oliver Pan stuck a knife into the heart of New York City’s campaign finance law by violating the prohibition against illegal campaign contributions, all to corruptly advantage the campaign of a candidate for city-wide office,” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement. “Cases like this give the people of New York yet another reason to be troubled by the electoral process, and they have a right to demand fair, open, and honest elections untainted by cynical subversion of campaign finance laws.”
Hanging In There
On NY1′s Inside City Hall last night, mayoral contender Bill Thompson was asked whether the man who replaced him in the comptroller’s office, John Liu, can continue to hold onto his job in the face of criminal fundraising charges against his mayoral campaign.
“I think that any elected official, when there are any questions of any types of improprieties that are raised, it creates a bit of a distraction,” he replied. “I still think he can continue to do his job.”
Mr. Thompson emphasized that this distraction is not necessarily unique to Mr. Liu.
Shock & Awe
Embattled Comptroller John Liu appeared at the Transport Workers Union Local 100 Black History Month celebration in Harlem tonight where he briefly addressed the ongoing investigation into his fundraising that resulted in the arrest of his mayoral campaign treasurer, Jenny Hou, yesterday. During a brief conversation with reporters following his speech at the event, a smiling Mr. Liu said he plans to remain in office in spite of the scandal.
“I’m just past my halfway point of my term as City Comptroller,” he said.
brb fbi is here
Comptroller and potential mayoral candidate John Liu released a statement this afternoon expressing his surprise at the arrest of his campaign treasurer, Jia “Jenny” Hou.
“I am stunned by this news about Jenny Hou. These accusations against her are uncharacteristic and unexpected. Jenny is a smart, hardworking person who I hope will be treated fairly,” Mr. Liu said.
Law & Order
Earlier today, New York City Comptroller John Liu’s campaign treasurer, Jenny Hou, was arrested by federal authorities and charged, among other things, with helping orchestrate a fundraising scheme to boost Mr. Liu’s mayoral campaign.
While the complaint against Ms. Hou involve interviews and emails, they also, somewhat amusingly, frequently quote her instant message chats. Thus phrases like “YUP!!!” and “THANK YOU!!!!! I’ll make you out a ck [check] today” appear throughout the otherwise bland document.
Jia “Jenny” Hou, the 25-year-old treasurer of John Liu’s mayoral campaign was arrested on fraud charges this morning for allegedly ”participating in a scheme that used ‘straw donors’ to funnel to the campaign” with “large, illegal contributions that were well above the individual limit.” Her Facebook page indicates Ms. Hou is a native of Beijing who lives in Flushing and has studied at Rutgers. Ms. Hou is the second person arrested in conjunction with the investigation into Mr. Liu’s fundraising.
New York City Comptroller John Liu, who is campaigning for Mayor in 2013, saw his campaign treasurer Jenny Hou arrested this morning on fraud charges by the FBI and the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. The charges represent the latest legal blow for Mr. Liu’s campaign. One of his chief fundraisers was arrested last November for orchestrating an illegal fundraising scheme.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, Ms. Hou “is accused of participating in a scheme that used ‘straw donors’ to funnel to the Campaign large, illegal contributions that were well above the individual limit … with the intent to fraudulently increase the amount of matching funds provided.”