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Court Papers: De Blasio Donor Admits Bribing Mayor For Favorable Lease Deal

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Newly unsealed court records show that a major donor to Mayor Bill de Blasio's campaign admitted to trying to bribe the mayor to help out his business.

Court papers detailing Harendra Singh's guilty plea were unsealed Wednesday in federal court as part of the corruption trial of former Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano.

They show the Queens restaurant owner pleaded guilty in October 2016, admitting that he tried to bribe the mayor to win favorable lease terms for his Water's Edge restaurant and catering hall in Long Island City.

Singh owed nearly $2 million in rent and penalties. He met with a senior de Blasio aide and a city agency head to pressure the city official into securing a lease renewal, WCBS 880's Marla Diamond reported.

The court papers do not include charges against the mayor, but say he took steps to benefit Singh in exchange for more than $30,000 in campaign cash.

The acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District declined to bring corruption charges against the mayor last March, citing a high burden of proof.

A spokesman for the mayor says the allegations have never been proven because they are not true.


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