Mayor de Blasio, you may want to call your office.
Bill de Blasio is still busy pushing his not-yet-declared presidential bid, but things back at home aren’t looking so great. As the New York Post reports this week, two more of Hizzonor’s political cronies and donors have pleaded guilty to campaign finance law violations. I’ve lost track of how many this makes, but the latest two seem to have been some bold and shameless traders in political influence.
Two corrupt brothers whose engineering firm was awarded millions of dollars in city contracts pleaded guilty Monday to illegally funneling cash to Mayor de Blasio’s 2013 election campaign.
Husam Ahmad, the CEO of HAKS and part-owner of SIMCO, copped to one count of first-degree bribery in the scheme, which also included an allegedly corrupt DEP official. Ahmad is expected to be sentenced to two to six years behind bars July 8.
Court papers say his plea agreement will also end a Brooklyn federal investigation into him but do not elaborate on the nature of that probe.
In addition to the CEO of HAKS, his brother, CFO Shahid Akhtar, pleaded to two counts of offering a false instrument for filing. He’s expected to get one to three years at sentencing. The company will pay a fine of three million dollars.
The brothers didn’t employ any particularly subtle tactics in funneling money to de Blasio’s campaign coffers. They got their staff members at HAKS to make maximum donations with the understanding that they would be reimbursed in the form of bonuses. And through some tremendous “coincidence,” the company received more than $36 million in municipal contracts. Funny how that works out, eh?
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this story playing out in de Blasio’s orbit. There’s a guy named Harendra Singh who is currently sitting in jail after pleading guilty to bribing the mayor to the tune of $25K. The other corruption trials swirling around de Blasio’s administration and various campaign adventures could make for a heck of a Hollywood movie. Another guy named Jona Rechnitz also pleaded guilty to bribing the Mayor in 2017 and went to prison. (And that story involved private jets with hookers onboard flying off to Vegas.)
Yet somehow, in all of this, no charges are ever filed against Mayor de Blasio himself. And the guy fancies himself presidential material. One can only imagine the fun that his Democratic opponents in the primary would have with these stories if he actually declared and began to gain any traction in the polls.