Judge Says Investigation Into NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Charity Over Lobbyist’s Contributions Can Continue

A New York State judge just handed New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s a huge loss that could spell doom for the rest of his political career if not his freedom.

De Blasio has failed as a mayor and all of New York knows it. He bungled the pandemic response telling people to go out and gather weeks before the city was forced to lockdown.

He bungled the response to the protests and did nothing as his city erupted in violence that continues. And now he will have to face an investigation into contributions to his now defunct charity.

From The New York Post:

Albany State Supreme Court Judge Richard Platkin ruled that the Joint Commission on Public Ethics has the authority to pursue a probe into Broadway Stages’ communications with de Blasio as well as $60,000 in donations.

The film studio — whose CEO and president Gina Argento raised more than $110,000 for de Blasio’s 2013 campaign and transition period — filed a lawsuit in November 2019 seeking to quash a subpoena from JCOPE seeking communications between the company, de Blasio, and his now-shuttered Campaign for One New York charity and lobbyist James Capalino, according to the lawsuit.

Broadway Stages claimed JCOPE can’t investigate individuals who give “gifts” and is limited to regulating officials who receive those monetary donations. It also denied donating to CONY following a request from de Blasio or any another public official.

The panel’s regulations bar lobbyists and their clients from giving gifts to a public official, or third parties on behalf of or at the request of an official.

“JCOPE’s interpretation of the Lobbying Act is rational, reasonable and consistent with the overarching legislative scheme concerning gift restrictions set forth in the Public Officers Law and Lobbying Act,” wrote Platfkin in a July 9 decision reviewed by The Post.

He added that this conclusion is reinforced because JCOPE is already empowered through state law with “enforcing the gift restrictions and investigating violations.”

“For essentially the same reason, the Court rejects petitioner’s contention that the Subpoena should be quashed because JCOPE lacks authority to investigate conduct that would only constitute a violation of its regulations,” he continued.

“In any event, the provision relied upon by petitioner … does not restrict JCOPE’s authority to investigate potential regulatory violations.”