One of Mayor de Blasio’s biggest donors took the witness stand Thursday to spell out in crystal clear language how he showered Hizzoner with money and got the results he expected from City Hall. The embarrassing pay-to-play testimony came from Jona Rechnitz, a Brooklyn businessman who pleaded guilty to corruption charges and is the star witness in the trial of disgraced jail union boss Norman Seabrook. Describing one element of the criminal offense to which he admitted guilt, Rechnitz, 33, kept it simple, saying he “was giving money to the mayor of New York in exchange for favors.” The deep-pocket donor for the first time detailed his regular interactions with the mayor, revealing that de Blasio came to his office before the 2013 election, gave him his personal cell number on the back of a business card, and “told me to call if there’s anything I need, always be in touch.” He also detailed his multiple transactions with de Blasio’s top aide, Ross Offinger, portraying him as a sort of bag man who regularly solicited money for the mayor while carrying Rechnitz’s many demands for favors to City Hall. “Whenever we would call (Offinger) for access or for a favor,… Read full this story
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