The head investigator for the state Board of Elections probed the 2014 fundraising efforts by Mayor de Blasio and his team on behalf of the Senate Democrats and found enough “willful and flagrant” violations to warrant a criminal referral to the Manhattan DA’s office.
The Daily News obtained a bombshell memo state Board of Elections Chief Enforcement Officer Risa Sugarman sent to the board’s four commissioners on Jan. 4 recommending the referral.
“I have determined that reasonable cause exists to believe a violation warranting criminal prosecution has taken place,” Sugarman wrote. “The violations discovered by this investigation can only be described as willful and flagrant.”
The commissioners, during a closed-door vote, made the referral on Jan. 11, sources said, which is now part of a broader probe by the DA and Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office.
Sugarman’s memo paints a picture of a coordinated effort by the mayor and his allies — dubbed interchangeably as “Team de Blasio” and “Team Coordinated” — to deliberately circumvent legal campaign donation limits in three upstate races in what turned out to be an unsuccessful effort to help Democrats win control of the state Senate in 2014.
The memo did not spell out exactly who could be charged. Deliberately evading campaign donation limits would constitute a felony.