Mayor Giuliani said yesterday that he has no intention of returning developer Abe Hirschfeld’s $10,000 campaign contribution, even though the gadfly politico and one-time newspaper publisher is being investigated for allegedly plotting to kill a long-time business partner.
“Generally, the rule that I follow here is if someone gives me a contribution and it turns out they are alleged to have done something, I either return it or not, depending how the allegation works out,” Giuliani said. “Right now, it’s an allegation.”
Daily News columnist Mark Kriegel reported yesterday that Hirschfeld, 78, a failed candidate for Manhattan borough president and one-time candidate for the Democratic nomination to the U.S. Senate, is being investigated by the Manhattan district attorney’s office in a possible murder-for-hire plot.
The News identified the alleged victim as Hirschfeld’s long-time real estate associate, Stanley Stahl, 72.
The two moguls have been partners in several major real estate transactions over four decades, but their relationship has grown acrimonious in recent years.
Sources told the News that investigators are trying to determine whether Hirschfeld contracted through a third party to have Stahl murdered, then changed his mind.
Hirschfeld, who declined yesterday to comment on The News story, is free on $1 million bail on charges he cheated the city and state out of $2.2 million in taxes.
He claims the 123-count indictment is part of a political conspiracy to prevent him from gaining public office.
DA Robert Morgenthau’s murder-for-hire investigation grew out of the tax fraud prosecution, according to the sources.
Hirschfeld, who served briefly as publisher of the New York Post, has not been asked to appear for questioning, the sources said.
When asked about the murder-for-hire allegations earlier last week, Hirschfeld told The News: “I have no idea what kind of bulls— you’re talking about. I am stunned.”
Stahl, who has been accompanied by bodyguards since early this year, declined to comment.
When the tax indictment was returned in May, Giuliani declined to return $10,500 in contributions his campaign had received from Hirschfeld and his wife.
In keeping the money, the mayor reversed a long-standing policy of refusing donations from those under indictment.
The mayor was asked yesterday about keeping the contribution “now that [Hirschfeld] is a murder suspect.”
Giuliani avoided answering directly, responding instead about Hirschfeld’s outstanding criminal charges.
He said returning the contribution now wouldn’t be fair to Hirschfeld’s reputation: “He is going to go to trial. Let’s see what the outcome of his case is.”
Original Story Date: 110997