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The Empire

UPDATED: Did John Liu announce his candidacy for Mayor last night?

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Reuters is reporting, and WNYC's Bob Hennelly has confirmed through the Liu campaign's lawyer Martin Connor, that the special investigator Comptroller John Liu hired to review his campaign's troubled fundraising practices has quit.

According to reports, former New York State Attorney General Robert Abrams sent a letter to the campaign today that he was resigning, saying its request that he wait until a Federal probe into the campaign was over before investigating, "compromises my independence, and my ability to do a thorough and effective job."

Abrams was hired after a New York Times article pointed to major issues with the Comptroller's fundraising practices. Abrams was hired less than three weeks ago.

Connor was quoted by Reuters saying, "It really doesn't make sense to have two investigations to be going on at once, and it's terribly expensive, and I think the federal government has more than enough resources to get all the information that's needed and they have subpoena power, and Mr. Abrams doesn't."


That's what some people are wondering after an event in Greenpoint last night. The Chinese-language newspaper World Journal reported that at a fundraising event, the Comptroller reportedly told the crowd of about 80 people, "I've never felt this strong a will to run, I will run for New York City's top job!"

He went on to talk about the changes he would bring to City Hall and to discuss the growing inequality in the city. The announcement came at roughly the same time the man accused of making illegal contributions to his campaign was released from jail on a $100,000 bond.

Liu's campaign has not responded to a request for comment or confirmation. We will post updates as they come in.

UPDATE: John Liu's campaign spokesperson, Chung Seto, sent this message in response to requests for confirmation on the Comptroller's statements last night:

The World Journal headline is erroneous.

Indeed, Liu never said "I'm running for Mayor." But it's hard to see the thin line of daylight between running for Mayor and running for "New York City's top job!" We're still waiting for confirmation on the actual quotes from the event.

If they're confirmed, it will be an amazing statement on John Liu: at the very moment he became more embroiled in questions about his fundraising practices, Liu was in Brooklyn giving everyone in the room at a fundraiser reason to believe he's still running for Mayor.