From NY Post: Mayor de Blasio claimed Sunday that he can’t remember calling donor-turned-felon Jona Rechnitz to beg him for a $100,000 donation — contradicting sworn testimony the deep-pocketed pal gave in court last week.
“I don’t recall if I talked to him directly about that,” de Blasio said during an unrelated press event Sunday.
Asked how he could forget making a personal appeal for such a large sum of money, de Blasio said he has his hands out so often that he can’t remember each time he asks for cash.
“I for years was raising money for different causes — the mayor’s fund, when we were trying to get the DNC to come to New York City — the convention, the effort to win back the state senate, all sorts of different things,” he said. “I don’t remember when i asked someone specifically, what I asked them — just way too much has happened.”
Rechnitz is a witness in the bribery trial of former New York City Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association President Norman Seabrook, who Rechnitz allegedly convinced to invest $20 million in union pension money in an associate’s failing hedge fund.
Hizzoner’s denial comes after Rechnitz testified that de Blasio pursued him relentlessly for cash to help flip upstate Senate seats for Democrats in 2013.
De Blasio underlings first hit him up for cash, but Rechnitz balked at dishing out the dough because he felt the city wasn’t responding fast enough to his requests for personal favors — that is, until de Blasio called him personally, he said.
“Once the mayor called me, I felt it was a personal favor to him,” Rechnitz said Friday of the donation.
The mayor’s “I know nothing” comments also come the day after he copped to not remembering an e-mail from Rechnitz about de Blasio’s troubles with Seabrook.
Seabrook was feuding with de Blasio’s jail commish, Jospeh Ponte, at the time, and Rechnitz has said he offered to broker peace between the men to help his buddy the mayor. Rechnitz said he intervened and then wrote an e-mail to Hizzoner that said, “Norman under control.’’
De Blasio said Saturday that he had no recollection of the e-mail.
The e-mail was also left out of the trove that City Hall released earlier this year between the mayor and Rechnitz.