Elections Board Faulted for Releasing De Blasio Report

ALBANY (AP) -

New York’s inspector general on Tuesday criticized a state Board of Elections spokesman for releasing an investigative report about Mayor Bill de Blasio to the Daily News.

That report said prosecutors should open a criminal investigation, now under way, into whether a 2014 fundraising effort for Democratic state Senate candidates improperly skirted campaign finance limits by routing large contributions through county political committees.

Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott reported Tuesday that John Conklin, elections board director of public information, acknowledged giving the documents to the tabloid in April even though they were labeled “privileged and confidential.”

The board has two Republican and two Democratic commissioners and key staff from both parties. Conklin is a Republican.

Risa Sugarman, the board’s enforcement counsel, said she requested the probe since her division had prepared the documents.

“Allegations were made primarily by the New York City mayor that I leaked the report due to political motivations. Now that we know the facts, I hope the mayor will apologize for maligning my integrity and professionalism,” she said.

Sugarman, like Scott, is an appointee of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who frequently has been at odds with fellow Democrat de Blasio.

De Blasio’s attorney, Laurence Laufer, said the report confirms that Sugarman’s office “failed to secure the confidentiality of the memo, and raises serious questions about the Board of Election’s management and policies. If anyone should apologize, it is surely the BOE,” he said.