HELPING HAND

De Blasio Approves Taxpayer-Funded Cover For His Legal Bills in Fundraising Probe

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has approved a taxpayer-funded contract to cover his legal bills from a federal probe into his fundraising, according to a report from Politico. The probe, by the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan, revolves around whether de Blasio and his staff exchanged political donations for government favors. The city’s top fiscal watchdog, City Comptroller Scott Stringer, objected to the proposed contract saying it didn't adequately distinguish between coverage for personal and governmental reasons. “Our office asked important questions in an effort to ensure that no public funds were used to cover legal fees incurred by the mayor in his personal capacity, and we are disappointed by the city’s decision in this matter,” said Stringer spokeswoman Ilana Maier. However, de Blasio spokesperson Eric Phillips said: “The Law Department painstakingly verified and appropriately categorized the legal work that was government related and the work that was not.”