As the city comptroller weighed in on the Central Park Five case on Friday, other legal issues were stirring for John Liu, as NY1 learned that the comptroller could be called to testify in the upcoming fraud case of a campaign fundraiser. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.
John Liu was in Central Park Friday, talking about the infamous Central Park Five case, urging a settlement for a 10-year-old civil rights lawsuit against the city.
"We are asking, I would say we are demanding, that the parties sit down and come to some settlement," Liu said.
At the same time, his campaign's legal issues were causing a stir.
Just hours after his press conference, NY1 learned that the comptroller could be called to testify in the fraud trial of a campaign fundraiser, Oliver Pan.
In court filings Friday, the comptroller and his top campaign aides, like Chung Seto, are listed as potential witnesses for the defense.
Both Pan and Jenny Hou, Liu's former campaign treasurer, face fraud charges for allegedly concocting a straw donor scheme to get over-the-limit campaign donations to the comptroller.
This comes as Liu considers a run for mayor this year.
"I am just looking forward to the trial's beginning," Liu said when asked about the trial Friday. "I think the more information that comes out, the better it is for everybody."
The trial starts in a month, which may complicate matters for the comptroller as he weighs a bid for City Hall.
"As I said before, I certainly would have preferred that the trial begin sooner," Liu said. "But it is what it is. Nonetheless, we are in a very exciting year, and I am looking forward to a lot of great things in 2013."
But in some political circles, 2013 may be a steep, uphill battle.
"Without a total exoneration on this shadow that's over him, as comptroller, he has this pending issue of either he knew what was going on or he should have known what was going on," said Scott Levenson, a Democratic consultant.
Liu's campaign attorney said that should the comptroller be called to testify, we could be sure he would testify truthfully.