New York City Councilman Ritchie Torres brought some conflict to the city’s Conflicts of Interest Board on Wednesday, questioning why a board member is still a political fundraiser.
Board member Fernando Bohorquez Jr., a partner at BakerHostetler, was appointed in April 2014 after giving $2,675 to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s 2013 campaign.
Bohorquez hasn’t donated to any New York City races since he was appointed, which would violate the COIB’s rules, but he has donated to state and federal candidates, including Queens Assembly candidate Catalina Cruz; Antonio Delgado, a Democrat running against Rep. John Faso in the Hudson Valley; and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Torres said he had no reason to question Bohorquez’s integrity, “but separate and apart from his merits, I have a philosophical objection to fundraising among COIB appointees, who have the power to impose fines on public employees and public officials.” Torres said that state and federal officials have power over New York City too, and that “COIB should be the consummate apolitical institution.” Bohorquez said his fundraising is legal and approved by the board.
The City Council unanimously confirmed Bohorquez for a second term. Torres abstained from the vote.