Mike Bloomberg's Aide is Key Witness in Campaign Cash Probe
Mayor Bloomberg and his campaign are not -- repeat NOT -- targets of the criminal probe of the mysterious $750,000 in Bloomy bucks routed to an Independence Party consultant in last fall's election. But isn't it interesting, as reported today, that the mayor's special assistant, one Allison Jaffin, is a key witness in how that cash was paid out?
The Wall Street Journal's Michael Saul doesn't say exactly what role Jaffin played, but he writes with apparent authority that the 34-year-old aide is someone with particular knowledge of the $1.2 million that Bloomberg paid into the Independence Party on the eve of last fall's election, ostensibly to help with poll watching efforts.
Jaffin is such a close and valued mayoral aide that Bloomy pays her twice - once with $117,800 of the public's dime for her day job handling his schedule, and then again out of his own ample pockets for an extra 20-30 hours of OT each week helping arrange his private life.
Jaffin is not listed as a campaign aide on Bloomberg's filings, so it's unclear why she would be acting as a pass-through, since there were presumably any number of others who could have handled the matter for the most expensive campaign ($108 million) in the history of an American city. (Oh,wait -- Bloomy's payments to the party were made as a private citizen, not as Candidate Bloomberg. This allowed him to take advantage of the unlimited donations that can be made to party accounts.)
The mayor has described Jaffin as a longtime "confidential aide" who worked with him in his media firm, Bloomberg L.P., before he put her on the city's payroll in January, 2002. Bloomberg is fond enough of her to have quipped at a 2005 party for the city's TV station where her husband, Seth Unger, was then a top executive, that "Ally could do much better." Unger worked on the mayor's 2001 campaign before being named to his NYC-TV post in 2002 at a salary of $65,000. When he quit the agency in 2006, he was making $104,000.
The Indy Party consultant under investigation by Manhattan D.A. Cy Vance, Jr. is John Haggerty, who has worked on two Bloomberg campaigns and who was paid the three-quarters of a million dollars at the request of Bloomberg's campaign. The money was routed through a corporation that hadn't even been incorporated at the time. An unnamed Haggerty spokesman tells Saul that he will be vindicated.
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