Wednesday, June 8, 2016
Donors affiliated with a major TV and film production company who never gave more than $250 to any city office donated thousands to Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2013 — and are now dodging questions about the big-money contributions.
Of some two dozen donors employed or affiliated with Brooklyn-based Broadway Stages who were contacted by The Post, only the husband of company President Gina Argento said the $4,000 he gave came from his own pocket.
Argento rounded up $111,805 for de Blasio’s campaign and transition committee in 2013, making her one of his biggest financial backers.
Most of the generous donors didn’t respond to calls, but four told The Post they either couldn’t recall giving, had no knowledge of the donations or referred questions to their lawyers. “I don’t know anything about it,” said Bianca Netto, listed as giving $9,450 to de Blasio’s campaign and transition committee in October and December 2013.
Two other donors listed as part of Argento’s bundling efforts weren’t able to confirm the accuracy of donation records.
Monica Holowacz gave $4,000 through Argento while working as an office assistant at Lights on Brooklyn, records show.
But when asked about the donation, she said: “I don’t know what you’re talking about” before hanging up.
Joshua Huffman, a production coordinator for Woodridge Productions who gave $3,050, according to records, said he couldn’t remember the donation.
“I don’t recall, but I’d have to talk to my lawyer about it,” he said.
Last month, de Blasio’s campaign returned $32,200 to seven donors tied to a Queens beauty supply company when questions were raised about whether the money they gave was their own. It is illegal to make a donation with someone else’s money.
Dan Levitan, a spokesman for the mayor’s campaign, said it is “reviewing these donations and will take any appropriate action.”
Argento did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
Additional reporting by Yoav Gonen and Frank Rosario