New York – Making his weekly appearance on Brian Lehrer’s Ask The Mayor segment on WNYC a day earlier than usual, Mayor Bill de Blasio blasted the players in the NYPD corruption scandal while taking the opportunity to use U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s latest press conference to vindicate himself.
de Blasio warned of “very real consequences” for those involved in the scheme, labeling it “disgusting.”
“It obviously was illegal,” said the mayor. “It was wrong and they got caught.”
de Blasio credited the NYPD and its Internal Affairs Bureau for picking up on the illicit activity perpetrated by those at the highest levels of command.
“I’m shocked that they were senior police officials because they obviously were not following the law in a very egregious way,” remarked de Blasio.
Bolstered by Bharara’s findings that the corruption began before he took office, de Blasio repeated his assertions that both he and City Hall played no part in the scandal.
“As the U.S. Attorney said very plainly, not only did this start before I was mayor, it has nothing to do with me or the mayor’s office.”
de Blasio said that his office had vetted contributors Jeremy Reichberg and Jona Rechnitz and that both came up clean at the time and that he knew of no inappropriate inroads made by the pair within the confines of City Hall.
The mayor also expressed his support for the NYPD, noting that it is important not to let the actions of a few tarnish the reputation of the entire department.
“By the end of the year we will have almost 36,000 police officers and we are talking about a handful of people who did something wrong,” said de Blasio.