De Blasio bills taxpayers for Red Sox tickets as part of his failed 2020 bid

News 19 February, 2020

New York City taxpayers picked up the tab for Mayor Bill de Blasio’s security detail to tag along with him to watch his beloved Boston Red Sox play 2,500 miles away in Los Angeles amid his failed presidential bid last year, The Post has found.

The publicly funded diversion was part of a $358,000 security bill for his failed 2020 bid, according to records obtained under a Freedom of Information Law request.

“It is bad enough that the mayor put the taxpayers on the hook for his pathetic presidential bid, but now we learn he is spending NYC dollars on Red Sox tickets? That’s a real kick in the teeth to New Yorkers,” fumed Councilman Robert Holden (D-Queens).

The NYPD spent $490 for seven cops to accompany Hizzoner to an Aug. 30 game between the Sox and Angels while he was on the West Coast taping a political podcast to boost his struggling campaign. Beantown won 7-6 in the 15th inning.

Taxpayers also paid $45 in entrance fees to Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area in Nevada, where de Blasio went for a midday hike during a break in campaigning.

“New York City mayors have always been accompanied by a security detail no matter where they were. The detail that followed the mayor did so at the request of the NYPD,” a mayoral spokeswoman said. The mayor appoints the police commissioner.

A Post examination of over 1,500 pages of NYPD records obtained reveals for the first time that cops on de Blasio’s detail racked up a total of $358,000 for last-minute campaign trips from May 16 to Sept. 20, when the mayor dropped out of the Democratic primary race.

Expenses — excluding cops’ salaries and overtime — include $191,621 for airfare to destinations like Denver, Colo., and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., $103,099 for hotels, $30,929 for car rentals, and $27,776 for meals.

At least 10 cops typically flew with de Blasio, first lady Chirlane McCray and their team on the campaign trail — and usually stayed in the same hotels.

Airfare was the biggest expenditure — averaging $497 per ticket — including 32 flights that ran between $1,000 and $1,600.

The detail took more than 40 trips where hotel costs exceeded the federal limit typically followed by the NYPD.

In one case, officers stayed at a pair of Chicago hotel rooms costing $399 per night — almost twice the federal limit of $219 — and valeted their cars for $64 each night.

The costs also don’t include more than $60,000 in expenses incurred by de Blasio’s detail months earlier while he was mulling a White House run.

“The Mayor and his wife should receive the security the NYPD provides because of the positions they hold, but better efforts should be made to minimize costs particularly because these are campaign expenses that benefit the mayor personally,” said Alex Camarda with the good government group Reinvent Albany.

“This is taxpayer money, and that should always be top of mind when the money is being spent,” Camarda said.

Holden, 68, a former Brooklyn Dodgers fan-turned-Mets supporter, is considering introducing legislation that would prohibit the mayor from using city funds for political trips.

“The city has faced irreparable harm at the hands of Mayor de Blasio, and instead of ‘saving the city’ from himself, he’s traversing the country spreading his failed policies, while his residents suffer. This disrespect must end,” Holden said.