City politicians aren't allowed to use their campaign cash to pay lawyers representing them in criminal matters, but Mayor de Blasio has found a way around this problem.
The mayor — now facing multiple investigations of his campaign fund-raising tactics — is using an obscure loophole in campaign finance laws to pay the lawyers defending him.
He’s taking advantage of the fact that while city law mandates donations for primary and general elections can only be used for lawyers handling non-criminal matters related to a campaign, funds raised for run-off elections face no such restriction.
That’s because run-offs fall under state law, not city law, and the state allows campaign funds to pay for criminal defense lawyers. Convicted Albany leaders Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos both took advantage of that this year.