New York – The list of those under the microscope for possible corruption continues to grow as U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara vowed that his office is conducting full scale investigations at all levels of city and state government.
Delivering the keynote address at an annual event held by Common Cause New York in Manhattan on Tuesday, Bharara, the man who took down former Assemblyman Sheldon Silver, warned that his office will follow the trail of corruption no matter where it may lead, as reported by The Daily News.
“Executive offices in government are far from immune from the creeping show-me-the-money culture that has been pervading New York for some time now,” said Bharara.
As previously reported on TOT News, Bharara already has Mayor Bill de Blasio’s campaign fundraising efforts in the crosshairs.
De Blasio announced last week that he would return all donations made by both Jeremy Reichberg and Jona Rechnitz, two members of the mayor’s inaugural committee who are at the center of an FBI probe involving high ranking NYPD officials.
City Councilman Mark Levine announced Tuesday that he was also returning $5,500 in donations that he received from Rechnitz and his wife, both his contituents, in order to avoid “any hint of impropriety and out of an abundance of caution.”
A story in today’s Wall Street Journal noted that Bharara is taking a closer look at whether favors may have been granted to those who contributed to the mayor’s Campaign for One New York fund and is also examining the change in classification awarded to a Lower East Side health care facility by a member of the de Blasio administration.
Lifting deed restrictions that had been in place for years on the Rivington House property ultimately paved the way for the new owner, Allure Group, to flip the property to a real estate development home, netting a profit of $72 million just months later. J
Jacob Landau, the Allure executive who worked with the city to have Rivington House’s deed restrictions removed, had donated $4,950 to the mayor’s election campaign, the maximum allowable donation. A spokesperson for the mayor said that Landau’s donation has been returned.
Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office has also come under scrutiny, with Bharara reportedly looking into economic development spending in Buffalo.
In his address yesterday, Bharara made a television-style reference to his office’s ongoing investigation, advising the public to “stay tuned” for further developments.
Bharara took aim at Cuomo and the Moreland Commission, the governor’s short lived and often criticized corruption probe.
“What we’ve gotten is a lot of reruns and, dare I say it, premature cancellations,” said Bharara pausing for a strategically timed beat before adding, “Yes, that’s a reference to the Moreland Commission. Which didn’t run for even one full season.”