The lifting of a deed restriction that allowed a politically-connected developer to buy former AIDS hospice Rivington House and change it from a nursing home to a condo building has haunted the de Blasio administration for a year now, and questions about how and why the deed restriction was lifted aren't going away. And after Mayor de Blasio himself answered U.S. attorney Preet Bharara's questions this week about his fundraising practices, the Department of Citywide Administrative Services employee who signed off on lifting the deed restriction has been fired.

The news that DCAS deputy commissioner Ricardo Morales was fired by de Blasio was first reported by the Wall Street Journal. Despite the timing of the firing, a DCAS spokesperson told the News that there was nothing suspicious about the move and that it was part of a planned restructuring long in the works.

However, Morales's attorney disputed the idea that the firing had nothing to do with the timing of the Bharara interview, telling the News "Around the time that meeting would have concluded, my client was terminated," and intimated that the order to fire Morales came from de Blasio personally.

While it hasn't been revealed exactly what de Blasio and Bharara talked about during their meeting on Friday morning, prosecutors and federal agents have been investigating whether de Blaso traded favors to donors to his campaign.

One of the alleged favors involved Rivington House's deed restriction getting lifted in 2015. Lobbyist James Capolino represented the company that sold Rivington House originally. After the city agreed to lift the deed restrictions requiring the property to be used only as a "not-for-profit residential health care facility," the property was sold from its new owner to a developer represented by Capolino, who then announced that the property would be turned into condos. Around the same time as the sale, Capolino bundled $40,000 and gave a $100,000 personal donation to the since-shuttered de Blasio-aligned non-profit Campaign for One New York.

A Department of Investigation examination of the deal suggested that it was incompetence and not corruption that led to the deed restriction getting lifted before the condo conversion. Representing the de Blasio administration last year during a City Council hearing on the matter, Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris said that the process that led to the deed restriction getting lifted was "a failure on our part."