De Blasio fined for misusing NYPD during presidential campaign, ordered to repay costs.
Former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio
was ordered to pay a 155,000 $ fine and repay more than 319,000 $ to the city for his use of the New York Police Department during his 2020 presidential campaign according to a new filing from the City Of New York Conflicts of Interest Board COIB.
According to the COIB document the board found that de Blasio who served as the NYC mayor during his run for the White House used city funds to pay the travel expenses for an NYPD security detail on 31 out of state trips connected to his presidential campaign.
Excluding NYPD salary and overtime, the detail’s trips accompanying de Blasio or his spouse between May and September 2019 incurred $319,794.20 in travel costs, according to the COIB.
“Although there is a City purpose in the City paying for an NYPD security detail for the City’s Mayor, including the security detail’s salary and overtime, there is no City purpose in paying for the extra expenses incurred by that NYPD security detail to travel at a distance from the City to accompany the Mayor or his family on trips for his campaign for President of the United States,” COIB chair Milton Williams wrote. The board also said it advised de Blasio about this before his campaign, but that the advice was disregarded.
In a Thursday statement, De Blasio’s attorney in the matter, Andrew G. Celli, Jr., called the COIB decision “reckless and arbitrary.”
“In a time of unprecedented threats of political violence, the COIB’s reckless and arbitrary ruling threatens the safety and security of our democratically-elected public servants,” Celli said, later adding “With today’s decision, the COIB has broken with decades of NYPD policy and precedent, ignored the professional expertise of the greatest law enforcement agency in the world, and violated the Constitution to boot.”
The statement referenced the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol and the shootings of former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.) and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and argued that the case is “about the principle of protecting our leaders from harm — for the good of our City.”
The COIB gave de Blasio 30 days to pay the fines. In response, Celli said his team has filed a suit to stop the action.
The then-NYC mayor launched a presidential bid in May 2019, joining a crowded Democratic field. He ran for just a few months polling at less than one percent before dropping out of the race in September 2019. He later threw his support behind then-presidential contender Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
De Blasio also ran to represent New York’s 10th Congressional District in the 2022 midterms, but ended his bid just two months in, saying it was time “to leave electoral politics.”