A donor and supporter of New York City mayor Bill de Blasio has pleaded guilty to trying to bribe the mayor for a major favor. We’re just finding out about it now because he pleaded guilty in a sealed court session.
The New York Post reports:
De Blasio donor secretly pleaded guilty to trying to bribe mayor
A major campaign donor secretly pleaded guilty to trying to bribe Mayor de Blasio to get a sweetheart lease deal for his Queens restaurant, court records unsealed Wednesday revealed.
Harendra Singh — an early supporter of de Blasio’s mayoral bid who raised $27,000 for his 2013 run — made the admission in sealed federal courtroom proceedings in October 2016, pleading guilty to bribery and wire fraud.
“I gave these donations to the elected official in exchange for efforts by that official and other city officials to obtain a lease renewal from the city agency for my restaurant on terms that were favorable to me,” Singh admitted.
A transcript of the exchange refers to Singh’s meeting with a senior de Blasio aide and a city agency head on July 30, 2015 to “pressure” the agency into securing a lease renewal for the Water’s Edge restaurant Singh owned in Long Island City, Queens.
Singh owed $1.7 million and rent and penalties on the city-owned land at the time.
It’s a good thing the mayor didn’t take the bait!