Politics

Bill De Blasio Fined Nearly $500,000 For Using NYPD As Security For Failed Presidential Campaign

(Photo by David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)

James Lynch Investigative Reporter
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Former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was fined nearly $500,000 by the city for improperly using NYPD officers as security detail during his brief Democratic presidential campaign.

De Blasio ran for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination from May to September 2019 and had the city pay for the travel expenses for his NYPD security detail, according to a report by the NYC Conflicts of Interest Board. The former mayor was ordered to pay $155,000 as punishment and just under $320,000 to reimburse the expenses incurred by the NYPD. (RELATED: Ex-NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio Finally Addresses 2014 Groundhog-Dropping Incident)

“Although there is a City purpose in the City paying for an NYPD security detail for the City’s Mayor, including the security detail’s salary and overtime, there is no City purpose in paying for the extra expenses incurred by that NYPD security detail to travel at a distance from the City to accompany the Mayor or his family on trips for his campaign for President of the United States,” the Conflict of Interest board’s report states.

The New York City Department of Investigations (DOI) released a report in October 2021 concluding that the city had not been reimbursed by the de Blasio campaign for his travel expenses. The investigation also found that NYPD resources were used improperly during his daughter’s move into the mayor’s Gracie Mansion.

“In the course of this investigation, DOI identified several vulnerabilities concerning the operation of Mayor de Blasio’s security detail, particularly regarding official communications, compliance with record retention protocols, and a culture susceptible to abuse,” the DOI concluded.

De Blasio was fined by the Federal Election Commission (FEC) in April for accepting improper political contributions and failing to disclose them to the FEC. (RELATED: ‘Politically Opportunistic’: Students Unenthusiastic Over De Blasio’s Harvard Debut)

De Blasio consistently polled around 1% in his brief presidential campaign and raised $1.4 million dollars for the effort, per Ballotpedia. He later endorsed independent socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who ultimately lost the Democratic nomination to President Joe Biden. Afterwards, de Blasio briefly ran for Congress in New York’s redrawn 10th Congressional District in 2022 but failed to gain traction in the 2022 Democratic primary.

James Lynch

James Lynch can be reached on Twitter @jameslynch32