Jurors at the upcoming corruption trial of ex-Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano can hear that the prosecution’s star witness claims he bribed Mayor Bill de Blasio — but not that Hizzoner avoided charges, a judge ruled Wednesday.
Long Island federal Judge Joan Azrack said defense lawyers will be allowed to question former restaurateur Harendra Singh about “everything he said about de Blasio and the de Blasio administration.”
But Azrack said the decisions by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. and then-acting Manhattan US Attorney Joon Kim not to prosecute de Blasio were “irrelevant” to the case and off-limits for questioning.
Prosecutors had all this, but still didn’t charge de Blasio?
Richard Morales had been cooperating with investigators on two matters: the mysterious deed change that allowed the sale of a Lower East Side nursing home to developers, who netted a $72 million profit, and strong-arm efforts to cut Singh a sweetheart deal.
Morales says he was present when a top de Blasio aide pressured his boss to construct a totally false narrative that would exonerate the mayor’s office in the nursing home fiasco.
“straw” donors whose contributions were reimbursed by others
Jia “Jenny” Hou
guilty of attempted wire fraud, obstruction of justice and making false statements, but acquitted of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
During the trial, her ex-boyfriend testified that Hou had offered to reimburse him if he gave $500 to the campaign.
DCAS Commissioner Lisette Camilo — alleges “wrongful conduct” by the defendants that “includes interceding on behalf of politically connected donors in order to aid their attempts to gain favorable terms in dealings with the City; attempting to arrange for City officials to give knowingly false testimony under oath before the N.Y.C. City Council; and harassing and retaliating against Morales for cooperating with investigations into the wrongdoing.”
Court papers say Morales then began a series of sit-downs with Singh, culminating in a July 15, 2015 meeting at which Singh and Neal Kwatra — a lobbyist and political consultant with ties to the mayor — exploded in rage and stormed out when Morales refused to give Singh “special treatment.”
But Morales’ suit notes the January unsealing of Singh’s secret, 2016 guilty plea to bribing de Blasio with tens of thousands of dollars in campaign cash in exchange for a lease renewal for Water’s Edge “on terms that were favorable to me.”
Singh, his family members and other associates raised a total of $33,000 for de Blasio since 2010. In July 2015, he met with one of the mayor’s top aides, Emma Wolfe, and the Department of Citywide Administrative Services to convince the city agency to provide more favorable leasing terms.
De Blasio’s staff allegedly told crooked donor to fake receipt saying campaign paid for fund-raiser