Common Cause New York Calls on Conflicts of Interest Board to Review Emails from “Agents of the City”

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  • Susan Lerner

NEW YORK, NY — On February 22nd Common Cause New York  sent a letter to the Conflict of Interest Board (COIB) and Campaign Finance Board (CFB) requesting an investigation into Mayor Bill de Blasio’s 501 (c) 4 entity called the Campaign for One New York. Although the Mayor has shuttered the Campaign for One New York, there remain related issues, noted in the complaint that still warrant investigation.

One of Common Cause New York’s prime concerns relates to the potential for conflicts of interest between:

  • The Mayor’s use of private consultants with business before the city who may be lobbying on their behalf
  • The way those consultants may also use insider information to benefit their clients

These concerns have only heightened in light of the news that the Mayor has designated five individuals as “agents of the city,” four of whom are private consultants. As such, the city claims that their emails with the Mayor are not subject to public disclosure under FOIL.

“The proliferation of the city’s shadow government remains a matter of public interest, especially given this protected class of individuals who operate without oversight or accountability. Common Cause New York believes that this vague category demands explanation, and that the COIB has an obligation to review the emails withheld,” said Susan Lerner, Executive Director of Common Cause New York.

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