Report: Animal-rights group probed over claim about threats to Q - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Report: Animal-rights group probed over claim about threats to Quinn's campaign

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

When running for mayor last year, was then-City Council Speaker Christine Quinn threatened or extorted by NYCLASS, the animal rights group opposed to horse carriages? The Daily News reports that the FBI is currently investigating just such a claim, but NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said he knows nothing of the investigation.

NYCLASS members were financial supporters of Bill de Blasio for mayor. De Blasio switched his position to support a ban on the horse carriage industry. The FBI, which normally neither confirms nor denies current investigations, would only offer a no comment on an investigation of NYCLASS.

Former FBI Agent Manuel Gomez said an FBI investigation would check if NYCLASS members threatened to harm Quinn. Also, I the group tried to extort her by intentionally defaming her with lies in order to force her to change her position supporting the horse carriage industry. Gomez said chance are the probe will go nowhere unless someone with NYCLASS admits to doing something like that.

Former Assistant U.S. Attorney John Jeannopoulos said that in his experience the FBI never begins an investigation without some evidence of wrongdoing.

Both Jeannopoulos and Gomez said NYCLASS chief financial backer Steve Nislick would be interviewed by agents if there actually is an investigation.

NYCLASS sent Fox 5 a statement saying it "has no knowledge of any investigation."

Some law enforcement say an FBI investigation into NYCLASS may ensure honest political campaigning. Some politicians, though, say it may put a chill on political activism.

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