A political group run by close allies of Mayor Bill de Blasio has attracted the interest of a New York State ethics panel, which is concerned that the group could be violating lobbying rules, according to two people familiar with the inquiry.
Representatives from the state’s Joint Commission on Public Ethics have contacted the group in recent weeks to ask why it has not yet registered as a lobbyist, in possible violation of rules requiring it to do so if it plans on influencing the outcome of pending legislation.
The two people who requested anonymity described communications that were meant to be confidential.
Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York at a budget hearing in Albany last month. Mr. de Blasio is quietly filling a war chest to finance future policy battles.
The group, the Campaign for One New York, was created by the mayor’s political consultants to raise money and attention for Mr. de Blasio’s political agenda while operating outside the city’s limits on campaign contributions. The group is paying for the mayor’s trips to California and for a previous one to the Midwest; on Thursday, Mr. de Blasio is to speak with technology moguls at a fund-raiser for the group in San Francisco. Tickets are selling for up to $10,000.
Under New York’s ethics rules, groups that “reasonably anticipate” spending more than $5,000 on lobbying activities are required to register with the ethics commission, known as Jcope, within 15 days.