NEW YORK (AP) — A campaign donor to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has pleaded guilty in federal court to trying to bribe the Democratic mayor to win favorable lease terms for his restaurant.
Newly released court documents show that Harendra Singh pleaded guilty in a Long Island courtroom in October 2016 to conspiring to commit bribery and honest services wire fraud in connection with campaign contributions.
The mayor was not named in the documents, but referred to as a city official.
A message seeking comment from Singh’s lawyer, Anthony La Pinta, was not immediately returned.
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Singh was arrested in an unrelated scheme to bribe a Long Island politician and became a cooperating witness for federal prosecutors investigating de Blasio’s fundraising. The mayor was never charged with accepting a bribe.
In responding to Singh’s guilty plea, mayoral spokesman Eric Phillips told The New York Times the allegations against the administration were never proven.
“They are old news that’s been widely reported and reviewed extensively by federal prosecutors before they closed their investigation,” said Phillips. “We make decisions on the merits. Period.”
In his 2016 plea, Singh also pleaded guilty to bribery schemes involving local government officials and several businesses on Long Island.
Details of the plea were unsealed on Tuesday in connection with the trial of former Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, who faces federal corruption charges.
Information from: The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com