Star witness says contributions bought access to NYC mayor

AP News
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Posted: Oct 26, 2017 7:02 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. government's star witness in the trial of the former head of the nation's largest municipal jail guard union says he bought access to New York's mayor with big contributions.

Jona Rechnitz testified only an hour Thursday at ex-union boss Norman Seabrook's trial, but he had plenty to say about his influence at City Hall. His testimony continues Friday.

Seabrook has pleaded not guilty to charges he accepted $60,000 in bribes to deliver a $20 million investment to a hedge fund.

Rechnitz testified Bill de Blasio visited him after he promised to contribute between $50,000 and $100,000 to the Democrat's 2013 mayoral campaign. The 34-year-old Los Angeles resident says de Blasio gave him his private cellphone number and email address.

A mayor's spokesman calls the testimony "re-heated, re-packaged accusations."