Brooklyn, NY - Mayor De Blasio Vows To Return Campaign Donations From Longtime Jewish Friend Facing Investigation
Brooklyn, NY - As the probe into Mayor de Blasio’s longtime friend and donor, Yitzchok (Isaac) Leshinsky and his former nonprofit, Housing Bridge, continues, de Blasio has said he will return campaign contributions totaling over $20,000 dating back to 2007 that he received from Leshinsky for his City Council and Mayoral runs.
The move comes after separate investigations by the New York State Attorney General and the New York City Department of Investigation into compensation and loans Leshinsky received on top of his annual salary. Housing Bridge had been approved for $260 million in City contracts to provide transitional housing to New York’s homeless, but much of the money seems to have been misappropriated according to a report by DNAInfo.com (http://dnain.fo/1V0C1gP).
Leshinsky resigned from his CEO post in 2015. Yet, records indicate that the Department of Homeless Services continued to grant contracts to Housing Bridge despite its financial irregularities.
“From what I’ve heard so far, that firm has been addressed very vigorously,” de Blasio said. “The CEO has been removed, and we are working now to take steps to get resources back from that company.”
Leshinsky declined to be interviewed for the article, but Senator Ruben Diaz, who previously decried the close relationship between Leshinsky and de Blasio, as well as the secrecy surrounding how shelter providers are paid, said, “I’m sorry that this happened. It’s a mess,” he said. “And I’m sorry for the homeless. They’re always the ones that are going to pay the price.”
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