Former city Comptroller John Liu of Flushing made it official Wednesday by announcing that he has filed a lawsuit against the city and the Campaign Finance Board for withholding $3.8 million in matching funds during his mayoral campaign.
He alleges that the CFB delivered a “death sentence” to his campaign by not granting the funds, based on what the board called “serious and pervasive” potential violations by Liu’s campaign in its fundraising efforts.
A key campaign worker and a fundraiser were convicted of multiple offenses regarding illegal contributions. Liu was never charged with any wrongdoing, but came in fourth in the mayoral race.
The lawsuit was filed in Manhattan Federal Court. It claims that “vague and undefined criteria” provide the CFB with “uncontrolled and arbitrary” authority to deny funds to candidates, in violation of their First Amendment rights.
The former comptroller is seeking unspecified monetary damages and changes in how the CFB operates.