US Ambassador to South Africa Patrick Gaspard violated federal law barring government workers from engaging in partisan activity by promoting pal Bill de Blasio’s mayoral campaign, an ethics complaint claims.
The complaint, filed by Republican activist O’Brien Murray, cited media reports that Gaspard, President Obama’s former political director
, helped pull strings from South Africa to aid de Blasio’s campaign.
Murray’s complaint cites an account in City & State, a political news blog, that claimed Gaspard helped broker peace between de Blasio and Democratic rival Bill Thompson after the bitter mayoral primary — to solidify party unity for the general election against Republican Joe Lhota.
Gaspard’s influence in the de Blasio campaign was so pronounced that national teachers-union boss Randi Weingarten, who backed Thompson in the Democratic primary, tweeted on Jan. 1: “Patrick Gaspard — the strategist behind the de Blasio win.”
That tweet was cited in the complaint.
And the ethics complaint listed media accounts that suggested Gaspard even aided Melissa Mark-Viverito’s successful campaign to become the new City Council speaker. Mark-Viverito also was de Blasio’s favored candidate for speaker.
“I filed the complaint because I believe he broke the law. We expect and deserve more from our ambassadors that represent the United States around the world,” said Murray, a GOP consultant and former top state party official who also has run campaigns for Democratic candidates.
Gaspard declined to comment Sunday when asked about the ethics complaint.
“Proud to be friends with Bill de Blasio for 25 years and I’m thrilled by his win. That’s the extent of my NYC gaze,” Gaspard said in a Jan. 3 tweet.New York Post
Gaspard, left, and DeBlasio.