Did John Liu’s Campaign Set Up a Poorly Paid 25-Year-Old to Take the Fall?

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Photo: Desiree Navarro/WireImage

When John Liu's treasurer was arrested on federal fraud charges earlier this week, it was big news: one step closer to the candidate himself. As Chris Smith wrote on Intel, "Worse for Liu is that pleading ignorance becomes more damaging as the investigation works its way up the campaign’s organizational chart, especially since his job is monitoring the city’s money — why didn’t Liu know what was going on, or run a tighter ship?" But despite Jenny Hou's big title, she only makes $27,678 per year — a salary that's not exactly commensurate with a top campaign slot. “Jenny is a very capable young individual and she is capable as compared to anyone of any age,” Liu said Wednesday. “I’m not hanging anyone out to dry.”

The 25-year-old, whose father is a close friend of Liu's, had only been in the job a year. As the Daily News explains, it seemed to many like she had been placed in that job for a specific reason, but that it might not play out as the Liu campaign had hoped.

A well-placed source in Liu’s office said Hou’s father, Jian Li (Peter) Hou, is likely to lean on his daughter to implicate the controller — as legal experts predict the feds will cut her a deal to cooperate against him.

“There’s no way he lets his daughter do time to save Liu,” the source said.

Contrary to Liu’s assertions, the source portrayed Hou as a fall person for Chung Seto, a top adviser to Liu’s campaign. “(Hou) seems like a nice young girl,” said the source. “Everyone knows Chung runs the show.”

Liu, meanwhile, said of his mayoral campaign, “All options are on the table. We're moving forward.”