NYC Mayor stymied in attempt to pay legal fees with donations

Cleared in state and federal investigations into his administration, Mayor Bill de Blasio is now facing a new hurdle stemming from the inquiries into his fund-raising practices: how to pay the outstanding personal legal fees he has racked up over the last year.

Mr. de Blasio has said he does not have the personal wealth to cover the bills, which most likely stretch into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. And the mayor has vowed to use no public money to pay for the lawyers from Kramer Levin who represented him personally in the matter.

But his solution, a legal-defense fund that would accept donations, suffered a blow on Wednesday when the city’s Conflicts of Interest Board ruled that donations to such a fund would be treated as gifts and capped in most instances at $50.