Life is but a Poor Player- Cuomo and de Blasio may Need R&R


LostMessiah April 9, 2016

“The serpent that did sting thy father’s life
Now wears his crown.”

Rosencranz and Gildenstern are… being investigated?

The news reports have been full of stories about Jona Rechnitz and Jeremy Reichmen, JSR Capital and its investments, a 12M Shakespearian (Hamlet) Ponzi scheme of which they claim to have been victims, and police officers who have resigned amidst alleged corruption. Mayor de Blasio has claimed that he did not accept donations from either R or R for his re-election and never accepted gifts from them. Governor Cuomo claims that he did not know that the top police officer in the State was going to “abruptly” resign, though the two have worked together for upwards of 27 years. We have our doubts. Mayor de Blasio claimed not to know anything about the controversial sale of an AIDS Facility called the Rivington House and the conversion of a deed from a not-for-profit to a residential facility, a transaction which yielded the purchasers of the facility millions. 

 Somehow Rechnitz and Reichman have been intertwined in every one of these scandals and all of the events, whether as fundraisers, attendees, honorees, investors, guests, hosts, alleged victims… You name it, they are part of it and they have been part of it for at least 6 years. They jumped on any ship they thought would float their needs and now that the ship is sinking, little by little. We wonder who’s going to throw whom overboard first.

For now, 4 officers have been relieved of duty, 2 of them required to turn in their badges and guns and the other 2 administratively moved. One top police official has resigned. Mayor de Blasio was not going to return any money he received from R or R because he did not receive any contributions. As of this evening, he is returning contributions (that he earlier claimed not to have received) 

Preet Bharara has his work cut out for him…

On Friday evening, April 8, 2014, PoliticoNew York published:

Bharara reportedly asking about donations to de Blasio

“The investigation into the NYPD is centered around two men who have contributed to de Blasio’s campaigns and who were on his inaugural committee: Jona Rechnitz, a real estate developer, and Jeremy Reichberg. As was first reported by the New York Post, the two men are alleged to have given NYPD officials gifts, including travel to Israel and the Carribean. On Thursday, four senior police officials were reassigned in connection to the on-going probe.

De Blasio on Wednesday said he met the men for the first time in 2013, and had never accepted “gifts” from them.

The mayor’s public schedule notes a May, 2014 “dinner” hosted by Reichberg at his home. CBS reported Friday night that a Campaign for One New York fundraiser hosted by Reichberg pulled in $35,000.

De Blasio’s campaign said Friday night that it is returning contributions made from Rechnitz and his wife.”

On April 7, 2016, reported that:

The Weight of the Investigations Bears Down on the de Blasio Administration

“Three investigations have been launched, so far, into the sale of Rivington House
The office of the New York City Comptroller, the New York City Department of Investigation, and the office of the New York State Attorney General are currently investigating the process by which deed restrictions were lifted from Rivington House, opening the door to a $116 million real estate speculative sale that is expected to lead to a luxury condominium conversion of the former AIDS nursing home.”


“Federal prosecutors and the FBI are investigating de Blasio’s associates and the NYPD
The Federal latest action by Federal law enforcement appears to be targeting two de Blasio associates, Jeremy Reichberg and Jona Rechnitz, former NYPD Chief of Department Philip Banks III, and Norman Seabrook, the president of the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association. According to press reports, NYPD brass accepted valuable gifts in exchange for providing special police services.”

In 2010, reported that :

“Tonight: Andrew Cuomo to Address Ohel’s 40th Anniversary Annual Dinner
February 21, 2010 1:17 pmThe Hon. Andrew Cuomo, Attorney General of New York State, will be the keynote speaker at the dinner. The Hon. Sheldon Silver is to be honorary chairman. Over 1,300 people are expected to attend this year’s dinner.

The Guests of Honor this year are Gloria and Harvey Kaylie. The other honorees are A.J. and Leah Schreiber with the Community Leadership Award; Hy Hetherington, CEO of Superior Glacier and HLP, with the Corporate Man of the Year Award; the Bert Fried and Leon Hofman families with the Community Partnership Award in Mental Health; and Rachel and Jona Rechnitz, with the Young Leadership Award.”

In 2014, the Observer reported:

De Blasio Rallies Troops for Final Pre-K Push

“Mayor Bill de Blasio welcomed about 200 supporters to Gracie Mansion last night to urge them to do all they can to push his plan to raise taxes on the city’s richest residents to fund universal pre-K.Jona Rechnitz, another supporter of the plan, said that he was eager to do all he could to make it a reality.”

““The message first of all was to thank us for all of our efforts and it was to jump on the bandwagon, come help, speak to people, get five volunteers to come help lobby,” said the self-identified Republican, who expressed skepticism with the governor’s counter-offer.

“If the governor wants to find the funding, I’m sure the mayor will be happy to accept it,” he said, describing the governor’s current budget as unrealistic.”

In April 2016, the Forward reported:

Orthodox Brooklyn Police Precinct Ensnared in FBI Corruption Probe

“One informed source, a private security consultant who works in the Orthodox community, told the Forward that one of the businessmen named in press reports about the investigation, Hasidic activist Jeremy Reichberg, flaunted his ties to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to exert influence in the NYPD’s 66th Precinct, which encompasses Boro Park and other heavily Orthodox Brooklyn neighborhoods.

“He’s working with the Mayor’s office, so he had a little bit more connection than any other schmuck on the street,” said Joe Levin, founder of T.O.T. Private Consulting, a security consulting firm specializing in the Orthodox community.

The New York Post reported on April 5 that the FBI is in the midst of a “massive corruption probe” examining trips taken by high-ranking police officers allegedly paid for by Orthodox businessmen. According to the Daily News, a community affairs detective who has served in the 66th Precinct for many years, Michael Milici, has been temporarily stripped of his badge.

Reichberg, one of the three Orthodox men named by the Post, hosted a 2014 dinner attended by de Blasio. The Mayor’s office did not respond to a question about de Blasio’s relationship with Reichberg. Reichberg could not be reached for comment.
According to Levin, Reichberg is just one of many Hasidic activists with outsize pull at the 66th Precinct. “This [precinct] is owned by the Hasidic community,” Levin said. “This is no joke.”


Read more:

Read more:


The New York State Police Department Issued the following Statement

Statements from Superintendent Joseph A. D’Amico and Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Joseph A. D’Amico

Beau Duffy
Director of Public Information
(518) 457-2180


Joseph A. D’Amico has served as Superintendent since January, 2011. Previously, he served for three years under Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. The Superintendent announced to staff today that he is planning to retire from state service to pursue other opportunities, and that a search will be commencing for a new Superintendent. Mr. D’Amico will be in place through that transition.

Statement from Superintendent D’Amico:
“I have been fortunate to serve the public in law enforcement for the past 35 years, both for New York City and the State, and it has been a tremendous honor and privilege to lead the men and women of the State Police. I thank Governor Cuomo and his administration for the opportunity to serve and lead the State Police through numerous challenges. I also want to thank the brave men and women of the State Police for their professionalism and service to the people of this great State. I look forward to pursuing other opportunities, but I will truly miss all of those I met along the way, including the members of the public who have always been supportive. I believe the past six years have seen the State Police grow in stature and capacity and I thank the Governor for his unwavering support.”

Statement from Governor Andrew M. Cuomo:
“Joe is an outstanding public servant who has done great work in both the Attorney General’s office and as Superintendent of State Police. He has led the State Police through hurricanes, snow storms, anti-terrorism actions, prison breaks, and manhunts. There is no doubt he has led the State Police to a higher level. I am going to miss him both professionally and personally and I thank him for the kindness he has shown to me, as well as to the people of the State of New York. I understand he has other needs to fulfill after nine years of service, and I wish him and his family well on this next chapter.”


5 thoughts on “Life is but a Poor Player- Cuomo and de Blasio may Need R&R

  1. Some people who live in Rockland County are always complaining about their high School taxes and how they don’t get anything in return. I wonder how much of our tax dollars are being spent on these investigations. I wonder how many people Preet has working on all of these investigations.

  2. I don’t know where an FBI corruption probe of some NYPD cops and two businessmen will lead — but one of the suits once led me on an ugly wild goose chase.

    After I wrote in November 2014 about mysteriously empty landmark 23 Wall St., I got a call from Jona Rechnitz, head of real estate company JSR Capital.

    Rechnitz said I’d only “scratched the surface” and he’d share with me the “explosive, real” story of why the building remained vacant.

    Rechnitz was formerly an executive for Africa-Israel USA. In 2008, A-I sold 23 Wall St. for $150 million to an octopus-like network of businesses under the umbrella of China Sonangol. Rechnitz was not involved in the sale, however.

    In his photo-filled office — one showed Rechnitz with former NYPD bigwig Philip Banks, who’s among those being probed — Rechnitz wheeled in a procession of associates. One, a New York-area resident, was absurdly introduced as the “CFO” of Sonangol — a Hong Kong outfit with US offices in Houston that runs most of its business through Angola.

    Rechnitz & Co. spun a down-the-rabbit-hole tale of intrigue as murky as the rain-pelted windows. The gist was that Sonangol had somehow been tricked into buying near-worthless 23 Wall St., and mistakenly thought it was buying the Clocktower on Madison Square Park (today the Edition by Marriott Hotel).

    I listened in as Rechnitz, pretending to be alone, made scripted-sounding calls to two real estate players who claimed to be plugged in to the supposed hocus-pocus at 23 Wall St.

    But when I later reached out to them myself — and to others Rechnitz referred me to — all clammed up or didn’t return my calls.

    Then I left messages for Rechnitz — who also stopped getting back to me. I dropped the story because there was none to tell.

    I had no idea why Rechnitz was trying so hard to interest me in a six-year-old matter in which he appeared to have no current stake.

    But if Sonangol had been hoodwinked as Rechnitz claimed, it would have required the help of several well-known individuals with unblemished records — clearly the intended targets of the story Rechnitz wanted me to write.

    Did Rechnitz hope, for whatever reason, that I’d rush into naming them without pinning down all the facts — which could have irreparably harmed their reputations?

    On Wednesday, the New York Times “reported” that Rechnitz’s JSR owns 23 Wall — based on JSR’s misleading and dated website.

    Sonangol is controlled by Sam Pa, a shadowy mogul who was arrested in Beijing last fall as part of a corruption probe.

    No one knows Pa’s current whereabouts — or the truth about 23 Wall St. But if Rechnitz were inclined to shed real light on it, he now has his hands full elsewhere.

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