State and federal investigations of Mayor Bill de Blasio's fundraising will not result in criminal charges against him or others acting on his behalf, prosecutors said today as they eliminated an election-year obstacle for the mayor.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said the facts were insufficient to successfully argue a provable violation of state election laws, in part because the parties relied on the advice of attorneys. But he said the actions appear to be "contrary to the intent and spirit of the law."
Acting US Attorney Joon H. Kim said a "thorough investigation" was conducted into complaints about circumstances in which de Blasio and others solicited donations from individuals who sought official favors from the city. The investigation looked into allegations of misconduct by and on behalf of the Democratic mayor for his 2013 election campaign and the 2014 state Senate effort.
"In considering whether to charge individuals with serious public corruption crimes, we take into account, among other things, the high burden of proof, the clarity of existing law, any recent changes in the law, and the particular difficulty in proving criminal intent in corruption schemes where there is no evidence of personal profit," he wrote.
Kim said it was rare for his office to issue a public statement about the status of an investigation but believed it appropriate "in order not to unduly influence the upcoming campaign and mayor election." The next mayoral election is in November.
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