De Blasio’s failed presidential campaign owes over $22K in debt
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s failed presidential campaign is more than $22,000 in the red because of legal fees related to a federal fundraising probe, new election filings show.
The mayor, who raised $1.4 million during his failed White House run, only has $8,022 left on hand in the federal campaign account — while owing $30,350 to the Washington, DC-based law firm of Trister, Ross, Schadler & Gold for legal services.
The firm billed him for legal work on a Federal Election Commission probe into alleged fundraising violations by his campaign.
Council members Joe Borelli (R-Staten Island) and Robert Holden (D-Queens) said that news of the debt explains why de Blasio didn’t use campaign funds to pay off $358,000 in costs racked up by his NYPD security detail racked on the campaign trail.
“At least now we know why we were stuck with the security bill,” quipped Borelli. “It’s easier to spend other people’s money.”
Holden said de Blasio “thinks he has a bottomless taxpayer-funded slush fund to pay for his personal and political whims.”
“We’ve had enough of an absentee mayor for six years, who now travels around the country campaigning for a new job, and it is about time he did something right with our money: reimburse us for his abuse of tax dollars,” he said.
De Blasio is already more than $300,000 in debt for legal fees related to federal and state investigations of his fundraising practices that ended three years ago.
The mayor had previously racked up a nearly $3 million legal tab after enlisting Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP in 2016 to represent him as criminal defense lawyers in the federal and state investigations. Both probes were closed in March 2017 with no charges filed.
The City Council last year passed legislation paving the way for de Blasio to set up a legal defense fund to hit up donors to help pay off his legal fees related to the probes, but he’s yet to set up a fund.
Both the state and federal probes also cost taxpayers another $11 million in bills run up by mayoral aides.
A message left with Trister, Ross, Schadler & Gold was not returned.
Jon Paul Lupo, a spokesman for de Blasio’s campaign, said “the campaign will be able to pay all its debts” without elaborating.
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