In 2013, the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau began an investigation into corruption within its ranks. In early 2014 the FBI and Department of Justice became involved as well. The scandal has rocked the police department, and yesterday, four high-ranking cops were disciplined, with two stripped of their guns and badges.
The New York Daily News says all four men’s careers have intersected with Philip Banks, former chief of department, who sources say is being eyed by the feds for improperly accepting gifts from Borough Park, Brooklyn, businessman Jeremy Reichberg, including a trip to Israel.
Reichberg and real estate investor Jona Rechnitz are suspected of doling out gifts to high-ranking officers in exchange for favors, such as police protection, sources said.
But apparently it’s not just police officers who were receiving gifts from those two.
According to the New York Post, hizzonor the mayor himself, Bill de Blasio took campaign contributions from Rechnitz.
The feds are looking at how the mayor solicits campaign cash from members of the real-estate industry — and the fund-raising activities of his former campaign treasurer, Ross Offinger, the sources said.
A source who dealt with Offinger told The Post he “plays fast and loose” with campaign-finance regulations.
Both Rechnitz and Jeremy Reichberg served on the mayor’s inaugural committee in 2013.
Rechnitz donated $50,000 to de Blasio’s nonprofit group, the Campaign for One New York, and Rechnitz and his wife shelled out the maximum $9,900 to the mayor’s 2013 campaign, records show.
In addition, Rechnitz was one of the biggest bundlers for de Blasio’s campaign, raking in more than $40,000 from contributors.
De Blasio campaign operatives said they will give back the donations from Rechnitz and his wife but keep the more than $40,000 in bundled contributions.
The mayor announced last month that he was disbanding the Campaign for One New York after good-government groups called for an probe into whether it was -violating campaign-finance and conflict-of-interest laws.
De Blasio insisted that the group had simply accomplished its mission.
But like that other famous Democrat also being investigated by the FBI once said, “What difference, at this point, does it make?”
[Note: This article was written by Michele Hickford]