De Blasio fined $500,000 for misusing NYPD in 2019 during presidential campaign
The $500,000 de Blasio has to pay includes an almost $320,000 reimbursement to the city and a $155,000 fine, making it the highest penalty and the largest amount the board has ever issued
June 16, 2023 7:51am
Updated: June 16, 2023 7:51am
Former New York City mayor Bill De Blasio was fined almost $500,000 for using New York Police Department officers as his security detail during his presidential campaign during the 2020 election season, the city’s Conflicts of Interest Board announced on Thursday.
The $500,000 de Blasio has to pay includes an almost $320,000 reimbursement to the city and a $155,000 fine, making it the highest penalty and the largest amount the board has ever issued.
The former mayor launched a short-lived presidential campaign in 2019, which lasted only four months. During that time, the city spent $319,794.20 in travel-related costs to De Blasio’s security detail on over 31 out-of-state trips between May and September, according to the Conflicts of Interest Board.
While the board had told de Blasio that the city could pay for the salary and overtime of his security detail, it warned the former mayor that paying for travel costs would be a “misuse of city resources.”
“Although there is a City purpose in the City paying for an NYPD security detail for the City’s Mayor, including the security detail’s salary and overtime, there is no City purpose in paying for the extra expenses incurred by that NYPD security detail to travel at a distance from the City to accompany the Mayor or his family on trips for his campaign for President of the United States,” COIB chair Milton Williams said.
According to the board, de Blasio must repay the expenses borne by the city during his campaign and was fined $5,000 for each out-of-state trip he took during his campaign. De Blasio has 30 days to pay the fine.
De Blasio was the mayor of New York City from 2014 through 2021. He has been at the center of several ethics investigations questioning his actions during his time in office. In April, the Federal Election Commission fined his presidential campaign for accepting improper contributions.
“It was a mistake,” said de Blasio about his presidential campaign. “I think my values were the right values, and I think I had something to offer, but it was not right on a variety of levels.”