Public Advocate Bill de Blasio has quietly decided to return thousands of dollars of campaign contributions from one of the city’s largest operators of homeless shelters, The NY Post reports.
“I just made the decision that it was smart to give it back and move on,” de Blasio said. “Again, I’ve just made the decision to return the money and that’s all I have to say,” de Blasio responded when asked whether he knew Lapes’ background before accepting the contributions.
Records show he accepted $14,850 from Alan Lapes and his wife, Cindy, both for this year’s mayoral campaign and to retire debt from 2009. Lapes, who runs about 20 shelters, has come under intense scrutiny after residents on the Upper West Side and in Carroll Gardens made outcries about shelters going into their neighborhoods.
De Blasio disclosed he was giving back the money only after an inquiry by The Post.