Feds probe de Blasio involvement in Brooklyn hospital sale | NY Post

The probe [of Mayor de Blasio] appears to stem from developer Don Peebles’ bombshell allegation that de Blasio personally hit him up for $20,000 to support Hizzoner’s universal pre-K program in March 2014 — while Peebles had a bid pending on the LICH site.

The nonprofit he donated to, UPKNYC, later became the now-shuttered Campaign for One New York.

Peebles told DNAInfo New York in May that he agreed to de Blasio’s request because it was hard “to tell the mayor no,” but that he later reconsidered and asked for his money back.

Peebles didn’t return a call for comment on Monday, and a SUNY spokeswoman said she was unaware of Bharara’s subpoena.

The probe marks Bharara’s latest anti-corruption blitz on City Hall, which was subpoenaed in April following a state Board of Elections report that said de Blasio engineered a scheme to evade fund-raising limits in a failed bid to help Democrats seize control of the state Senate.

The mayor is also under scrutiny over allegations that preferential treatment was given to supporters of a series of nonprofits he established, with the good-government group Common Cause labeling the donations “dark money” that was funding a “shadow government.”

In addition to eyeing the LICH site, Peebles — who has said he’s considering challenging de Blasio for mayor next year — was at the time renting office space to the city in a Tribeca building that the city last year approved for conversion into condos.

A spokesman for de Blasio’s 2013 campaign and the Campaign for One New York denied any wrongdoing, saying: “We are fully confident that the campaign has conducted itself legally and appropriately at all times.”

Bharara’s office and a Fortis spokeswoman both declined to comment.


Michael Benjamin

About SquarePegDem

A former state legislator turned NY Post editorial board member, thought-leader, public affairs consultant and commentator, columnist and blogger. Michael has appeared on Al Jazeera America Tonight, NY1/Inside City Hall, FoxNews.com LIVE, YNN/Capital Tonight, The Brian Lehrer Show, The Fred Dicker Show, The Capitol Press Room, and The Daily Show. His op-eds have appeared in the NY Post, City and State, The Legislative Gazette, Bronx Times, The Troy Record, Buffalo News, and the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. To schedule speaking engagements, email FOMB08@GMAIL.COM.
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