Former NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio fined heavily for misusing public funds.

Former NYC Mayor Fined $475,000 for Misusing Public Funds During Presidential Campaign

Former New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has been hit with a hefty fine of approximately $475,000 for misusing public funds during his unsuccessful presidential campaign. This fine, imposed by the New York City Conflicts of Interest Board, is the largest ever recorded.

The board’s June 15 order (pdf) stated that between May and September 2019, while serving as Mayor, de Blasio had the city cover the travel expenses for an NYPD security detail on 31 out-of-state trips related to his presidential campaign.

Despite being warned beforehand that this would violate the law, de Blasio accumulated a total of $319,794.20 in travel-related costs for the city, including airfare, car rentals, meals, accommodations, and other incidentals.

The board fined de Blasio $5,000 for each out-of-state trip, amounting to a total of $155,000, and ordered him to reimburse the city for the misspent funds.

Appeal Filed

De Blasio was given 30 days to make the payment, but he decided to appeal the decision to the state’s Supreme Court.

In a statement, Andrew Celli Jr., de Blasio’s attorney, criticized the board’s action, calling it dangerous, beyond their powers, and illegal. He filed a lawsuit to prevent the decision from taking effect, describing it as reckless and arbitrary.

Celli emphasized the importance of protecting public servants like de Blasio, stating that all mayors, regardless of party or politics, deserve security and that the level of protection should be determined by the NYPD.


The fine comes after an investigation conducted by the New York City Department of Investigation (DOI) into de Blasio’s use of his security detail. The DOI’s findings (pdf), released in October 2021, revealed potential violations of the New York City Conflicts of Interest Law, lapses in best practices, corruption vulnerabilities, and inefficient use of public resources.

The report highlighted instances where members of de Blasio’s protection unit transported his children and staffers without his presence, raising further concerns.

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