Comptroller John Liu may not be leading his Democratic rivals in the polls, but his mayoral campaign is far ahead of the field in legal fees.
Mr. Liu spent nearly $100,000 on lawyers over the past two months, according to disclosures filed with the city’s Campaign Finance Board this week. That’s as much as triple what other leading Democrats funneled into legal services, the records show.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg blasted a plan by the federal Justice Department to install a monitor over the NYPD on Thursday, arguing it would compromise the city’s crime fighting and put lives at risk.
“We think that a monitor would be even more disruptive than an IG,” the mayor said during an unrelated press conference in Long Island City, Queens, referring to a plan by the City Council to create an Inspector General over the department.
I get knocked down
For nearly any other candidate, two guilty verdicts in the trial of a trusted treasurer and fund-raiser on campaign finance fraud charges would spell the end of his or her campaign. But this is John Liu.
The city comptroller soldiered on with his campaign on Friday, attending a fund-raiser where he vowed to not only continue his campaign but win the race—and slammed the feds’ case in the process, taunting them to “put up or shut up” yet again.
“I am speechless,” Mr. Liu said from the living room of the opulent Cobble Hill home, where several dozen supporters had gathered to hear from the candidate. “When I walked in, I was speechless. I mean, this has been an amazing experience, an amazing ride. You could never make this stuff up,” he said, insisting he can still win again and again.
Law & Order
The federal case against Comptroller John Liu’s fundraising operation has hit a rather intriguing snag.
Oliver Pan, the donor accused of breaking campaign finance laws on Mr. Liu’s behalf, was “involuntarily committed with a mental health condition,” according to Judge Richard Sullivan, who’s overseeing the case. He did not elaborate on the specifics, outside of saying it’s unclear when (or if) he will recover.
Thus, at today’s pre-trial hearing, Mr. Sullivan established a date–this Friday, at noon–that medical professionals treating Mr. Pan need to report on his status. The judge further set April 15th as the “backup” date for the trial to begin, should Mr. Pan not promptly regain his health.
keep paying his salary
You’re going to have Assemblyman William Boyland Jr. to kick around a while longer.
Last year, Mr. Boyland was charged with soliciting bribes in order to pay his legal bills in an otherwise unrelated bribery case, but jury selection for this second trial won’t begin until July 15th, a federal judge ruled today.
Bronx Councilman Larry Seabrook, who ended up in a deadlocked jury last December as he was facing 12 charges, was retried and found guilty on 9 of those charges earlier today, which reportedly include bribery, money laundering and fraud.
“Councilman Larry Seabrook abused the power of his office to influence public contracts and to fund his own corrupt friends and family plan,” US Attorney Preet Bharara said, according to the New York Post.