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Mayor Bill de Blasio says he expects to be cleared in probes

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio attends

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio attends a monthly crime statistics meeting in the Jack Maple CompStat Center at One Police Plaza in Manhattan on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016. Credit: Charles Eckert

Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday invoked Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in saying he expects to be exonerated in ethics and criminal probes of his fundraising.

Speaking at a news conference promoting a rent freeze, de Blasio predicted that nothing would come of allegations against him and his inner circle, who are under scrutiny by local, state and federal investigators.

Comparing himself to Clinton, de Blasio said, “The next president of the United States has gone through more investigations than I can count.” He said that, as with Clinton, “You will find positively nothing.”

Probes into de Blasio include inquiries into an attempt by donors to get horses banned from Central Park and allegations that his nonprofit skirted fundraising limits.

“There will always be investigations in public life,” de Blasio told WNYC-FM radio host Brian Lehrer earlier Thursday morning.

De Blasio said he couldn’t answer questions about state ethics subpoenas to City Hall and his political nonprofit, in an inquiry about whether his inner circle broke state lobbying laws. But he said he would comply.

“I do not know the details of the subpoenas so I can’t speak to that,” he said. “It’s just simple: Ask people who can get you an answer.”

Also in the interview with Lehrer, de Blasio criticized reporters and editorial boards for accusing him of “hiding behind lawyers” — as Lehrer phrased it — in a case of alleged fatal child abuse, saying his critics are “hiding behind this argument.”

The Manhattan district attorney is investigating last month’s death of Zymere Perkins, 6, of Manhattan, who was allegedly beaten regularly — including with a broomstick — by his mother’s boyfriend. Since mid-2015, the New York City Administration for Children’s Services had responded five times to concerns about the child and the family.

Zymere died after he was found with multiple bruises on his body and head injury, police said. His mother, Geraldine Perkins, 26, and her boyfriend, Rysheim Smith, 42, were arrested and charged with child endangerment, police said.

At the news conference, de Blasio said a chronology of events in the case would be forthcoming, but he did not provide a date.

“You’re going to get the things I think you’re looking for, which is, who did what, who’s responsible, where were the mistakes made, that’s all going to be laid out,” de Blasio said.

Zymere’s death Sept. 29 recalled other high-profile child endangerment cases in New York City, including that of 4-year-old Myls Dobson two years ago and Nixzmary Brown in 2006.

Also Thursday, de Blasio said he would not try to flip control of the State Senate to Democratic hands — as he did in 2014, triggering ire from Republicans and catalyzing one of the probes into money he raised for the cause.

“I have no plans to be involved in terms of the Senate elections,” he said.

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