State Senator who launched de Blasio fundraising probe: 'Hudson Valley is not for sale'

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Lucy Yang is live with the latest details.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio continues dealing with allegations of campaign corruption that have rocked his administration in recent days, and now, Eyewitness News is talking with the man who started it all.

Two years ago, Terrence Murphy, a former chiropractor and town board member from Yorktown, ran for his first state race and won a seat in the Senate. But he says what troubled him was a huge influx of cash to his Democratic opponent, Justin Wager, cash that he says came from out of the town.

"The Hudson Valley is not for sale," he said. "This laundered money was used to dramatically exceed the contribution limits for state Senate races."

So the Putnam Country Republican chairman asked the New York State Board of Elections to investigate, and the result was the bombshell report from the board that accused de Blasio and his aides of engaging in willfully illegal activity.

"The evidence demonstrates that the de Blasio team coordinated its fundraising activities with and intentionally solicited contributions for these candidates to evade contribution limits and to disguise the true names of the contributors," the board's enforcement council wrote. "Conduct which may violate election law."

Investigators believe de Blasio raised funds from those who had business with the city and diverted the money to county Democratic committees, which then gave almost $1 million to local Democrats running for the state legislature.

"This was a shakedown by Mayor Bill de Blasio on business owners in New York City," Murphy said.

According to an evidence chart from the Board of Elections, the Putnam County Democratic Committee usually transferred only a few thousand dollars every year for the five years prior to the 2014 election. That year, they transferred more than $600,000, almost of it to two specific candidates who later lost.

With city and federal prosecutors now launching criminal investigations, the core question is if the mayor and his aides willfully broke campaign finance laws to try and get more Democrats elected. It is a claim the mayor unequivocally disputes.

"It's outrageous, and I don't know what's motivating it," he said. "You know my predecessor and so many other people live by those exact same standards. I think it speaks for itself."

Still, Murphy is unwavered in his accusations.

"This is clearly a statewide corruption scandal engineered by the mayor of New York City," he said.

Related Topics:
politicsMayor Bill de Blasiobill de blasiopoliticsfundraiserNew York City
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