Mayor Bill de Blasio and his wife were spotted prancing and schmoozing on the red carpet before this year's Grammy awards show at Madison Square Garden, but when the curtain rose on the performers, Hizzoner and the First Lady were back at Gracie Mansion watching the show on television.
The reason? Apparently it would have been an ethics violation for the mayor to attend the show, even if he had paid his own way.
If only the mayor took such a stringent ethical approach when it comes to his own fundraising.
De Blasio has had all sorts of issues with his campaign coffers and the dubious folks filling them, and last week Harendra Singh, the owner of Water's Edge restaurant in Long Island City, pleaded guilty to trying to bribe the mayor in 2013 by raising more than $25,000 for him in the hopes of getting a favorable lease for his restaurant, which is on city land.
For his part, the mayor says that Singh is lying to save his own skin by striking a deal with federal prosecutors in a desperate act of self-preservation.
“But I've been 100 percent consistent,” the mayor said on WNYC. “What he said happened did not happen, period.”
So in other words, Singh pleaded guilty to bribery, federal prosecutors agreed that the money amounted to a bribe, but de Blasio says it never happened.
So Singh took a fall for a crime that never took place. Singh needs a new team of lawyers.
This isn't the first time de Blasio has come under fire as it relates to his fundraising. He has faced both federal and local investigations into the matter, always admitting that his contributors engage in shady behavior, but the criminal behavior doesn't involve him.
He should have just gone to the Grammy's and then denied the show ever took place. It's a defense that seems to work pretty well for him.