- Reuters/Brendan McDermid
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is under federal investigation for his role in the $240 million sale of the Long Island College Hospital in 2014, according to sources cited by the New York Daily News.
US Attorney Preet Bharara has reportedly subpoenaed the hospital’s owner, the State University of New York, for its emails and other records of communication with City Hall – specifically with de Blasio and five of his top aides.
A source close to SUNY told the Daily News that de Blasio seems to be “the clear target.”
During his mayoral campaign in 2013, de Blasio had fought to keep the state-run hospital open, despite SUNY’s efforts to close and sell it. But shortly after taking office, de Blasio struck a deal that left the property with some guaranteed healthcare services, but not enough to make it a full hospital.
Later, de Blasio backed a plan by the Fortis Property Group to demolish the hospital buildings and redevelop the site into low- to middle-income apartments, according to The Real Deal.
Bharara’s office is now searching for evidence of malfeasance within de Blasio’s administration regarding the hospital’s sale, the New York Post reported. The subpoena also seeks communication records dating back to de Blasio’s tenure as the city’s public advocate, when he first began campaigning to keep the hospital open.
De Blasio’s spokesman Eric Phillips told the Daily News the mayor’s office is unaware of an investigation by Bharara into the hospital’s sale.
The subpoena comes on the heels of a separate federal corruption probe into de Blasio’s fund-raising activities. Four New York Police Department officials and two businessmen have been arrested so far in the investigation, which has been underway for more than two years.