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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio will not say when he will reimburse taxpayers for the $ 320,000 he spent on security services for his failed presidential campaign as he prepares to step down.
The debt stems from de Blasio’s use of the New York Police Department for security details about his short-lived campaign, which taxpayers have covered, according to a report from the city’s Department of Investigations (DOI). By Blasio also due hundreds of thousands to a law firm on Nov. 10 for debt accumulated as a result of investigations into its fundraising practices.
De Blasio’s office did not respond to a Fox News survey asking him when he planned to return taxpayer money.
Meanwhile, the mayor drop money in personal home renovations as he prepares for post-mayor life, which could include a run for governor.
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“Mayor de Blasio has earned a reputation as one of the worst mayors in New York City history, and that’s one of the many reasons why,” said the president of Citizens Against Government Waste, Tom Schatz, at Fox News. “Using taxpayers’ money, not paying back the money he owed for the security of his presidential campaign and just not taking care of the city.”
New York taxpayers poured in the money to cover its security details during its failed 2019 presidential campaign, even though the city’s resources cannot be spent on political efforts.
De Blasio used members of the Executive Protection Unit (EPU), who serve as his bodyguards in the city, to protect himself during the election campaign. The city reported that he had secretly asked if taxpayers could cover the bill. The New York Conflict of Interest Council denied the mayor’s request.
And in October, the New York DOI released a striking scathing report from Blasio about this setup, among other alleged exploits.
“DOI has determined that New York City spent $ 319,794 for members of Mayor de Blasio’s security service to travel on the mayor’s presidential campaign trips, the report States. “The mayor of Blasio did not reimburse the City for these expenses, neither personally nor through his campaign.”
Additionally, members of the UEP transported its campaign staff on campaign trips as they drove it to events, the Investigations Department also found.
“Both reflect a use of NYPD resources for political ends,” the report said. “Additionally, the DOI learned that for about a year, security services were performing frequent security checks at homes owned by the Brooklyn mayor, where neither he nor his family members currently reside.”
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Federal Election Commission records indicate that de Blasio did not use his presidential campaign coffers to foot the bill due to a lack of funds.
De Blasio’s committee entered in October – when the DOI report was released – with just $ 4,731 in cash and $ 67,371.90 in debt, funding the campaign recordings Pin up. In the first nine months of the year, the campaign disbursed only $ 13,481.35 for software and legal and compliance services.
The security detail isn’t Blasio’s only debt on his plate.
The outgoing mayor owed a law firm $ 300,000 as of November for bills stemming from a 2017 investigation into whether he and his aides had bestowed special favors on donors, Politico reported.
De Blasio said last month he had no intention of paying the debt out of pocket because he didn’t have the money. Instead, he intends to rely on dues to pay him back.
“I hope you know enough about me now to say that I don’t have a lot of extra resources available,” de Blasio said in November when asked why he hadn’t invested the money. in the invoice. “I’m not like my predecessor. So I should raise money. But I will, in time, and I will pay it back.”
De Blasio’s initial dependence on contributors meet an obstacle when the ICOB said it could not accept gifts worth more than $ 50. In 2019, however, city council passed a law allowing lawmakers to set up legal defense funds that can accept up to $ 5,000 per donor, according to on the ICOB website.
It seems that de Blasio did not establish such a fund.
But since the debts remain, de Blasio invests money in home renovations, pushing him even more into debt. The repair project started in October and attracted several complaints, The New York Post reported after reviewing Department of Buildings records.
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In June, the Post reported that De Blasio and his wife had secured a $ 615,342 loan for the house. They had previously borrowed $ 625,000 against the house, which is valued at $ 1.5 million, the Post found in public records.
De Blasio’s debts stand at $ 2.5 million, according to the Post. The publication noted that he received nearly $ 260,000 in annual salary as mayor and received rental income of between $ 5,000 and $ 49,999 from each of his three tenants in 2020, according to his disclosure forms. personal financial.
Crain’s reported that some political observers believe de Blasio is considering a gubernatorial race in an attempt to repay debts he accumulated during his eight years as mayor of New York City.