Councilman Danny Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) told the editorial staff of the Chronicle today that he stands behind City Comptroller John Liu, who has been in the headlines this week following the arrest of his campaign treasurer on charges of conspiracy, campaign finance fraud and obstruction of justice.
When asked if Liu should resign, Dromm answered definitively: “No, he shouldn’t.”
Dromm called Liu “a good man,” adding, “John Liu is a good comptroller.”
He made the comment during a wide-ranging conversation on politics and other issues held at the Chronicle’s office.
Liu’s bid for mayor of New York has been embroiled in controversy since November, when his campaign’s top fundraiser, Xing Wu (Oliver) Pan of New Jersey, was arrested on conspiracy and wire fraud charges.
Last week, Liu’s campaign treasurer, Jia (Jenny) Hou, 25, of Flushing, was arrested on related charges, in particular using multiple “straw donors” to filter sums exceeding campaign limits contributed, in fact, by a single donor. If convicted, she faces up to 60 years in prison.
But Dromm emphasized that charges have not been brought against Liu. When asked whether Hou could have worked alone, allegedly violating the law without Liu’s knowledge or direction, Dromm said it was indeed a possibility.
“I don’t think he could look at every single contribution to his campaign,” he said.
Alluding to the fact that many of Liu’s donors are Chinese immigrants, Dromm said, “I don’t know that immigrant communities fully understand campaign finance laws as they exist [in this country].”
In a prepared statement last week, Liu said he was “stunned” by the charges brought against Hou, and insisted he has never been involved in any illegal campaign financing.
Dromm said instead of calling for Liu to resign, as some have done, they should “let the system work it through.”
“In this country, you’re innocent until you’re proven guilty,” he noted.
For more on issues discussed during Councilman Danny Dromm’s meeting with the Chronicle, read the full story here on qchron.com or in next week’s issue of the newspaper, on Thursday, March 8.