BRONX, N.Y. — "The first thing I need to tell you, I hold myself and my administration to the highest standard of integrity."
For nearly 15 minutes, Mayor Bill de Blasio held an availability with the media, where the any topic was on the table. All but one of the questions asked focused on a federal investigation that not only has impacted the upper echelon of the NYPD, but now has de Blasio having to defend himself over how well he knew two of the men that helped spark an Investigation by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara and his team of investigators from the Southern District.
"In terms of these two individuals, as I said, I met them around the time of the general election, had not known them previously. I have spent very little time with them in the scheme of things and not much at all in the last year," said the mayor when asked to clarify how acquainted he was with the two men.
Although the mayor said he first met the duo in the fall of 2013, they were appointed to his transition team later that year. When asked who appointed them, the mayor said he did not know. Moments later he added, "I know of no favorable municipal action they got."
The mayor then made it quite clear, "Everything we have done is legal and appropriate."
Bharara has a stellar track record of exposing and convicting public corruption.
PIX11 News asked the mayor if by chance he has spoken with a lawyer as a result of the reports regarding a probe. The mayor simply responded: "Nope, because I have no outreach from federal or any other agency. I am confident that we have done things correctly, appropriately and legally so the answer is no."
And after nearly 15 minutes of questions and answers, the mayor ended the conversation on this note, "All of us should be held to a single standard. Are we staying within the law. Are we disclosing everything and are we making our decisions in the public interest, that is what we've done. Thanks everyone."
Mayor de Blasio also made it clear that he will no longer take questions on the issue following today, stating that he did now want to discuss hypothetical scenarios.