New York Politicians Accused In Plot To Sell GOP Spot In NYC Mayoral Race | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

New York Politicians Accused In Plot To Sell GOP Spot In NYC Mayoral Race

New York State Sen. Malcolm Smith, a Democrat, was led from his Queens home in handcuffs Tuesday morning after being arrested for allegedly trying to buy his way on to the Republican ticket in this year's New York City mayoral election.

Also arrested Tuesday: City Councilman Daniel Halloran, a Republican, and four other local politicians (also Republicans) from the New York metropolitan area, who stand accused of conspiring with Smith.

The New York Times writes that:

"Mr. Smith, according to the complaint, agreed with a cooperating witness and an undercover F.B.I. agent, who was masquerading as a wealthy real estate developer, to pay off leaders of Republican county committees in New York's five boroughs. The bribes were to be paid to obtain specific certificates authorizing him to run for mayor as a Republican even though he was a registered Democrat."

NPR's Joel Rose tells our Newscast Desk that "in a statement, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara says Smith 'drew up the game plan,' while Halloran — the city councilman — 'quarterbacked' the effort to find party chairmen in the state who were open to receiving bribes."

According to New York's Daily News, Halloran was to allegedly receive $20,500 in exchange for supporting Smith's bid for the GOP nomination, while two other officials were to allegedly receive "$40,000 in bribes with a promise of $40,000 more."

The state senator's lawyer, Gerald Shargel, tells the Times that Smith "is a dedicated and highly respected public servant and he steadfastly denies these charges."

The 56-year-old Smith, according to his official biography, first won election to the state senate in 2000. He was the state senate's president pro tempore when Democrats controlled the chamber in 2008-10. In recent years, though, he has often been at odds with his fellow Democrats.

Current Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) is prevented from seeking a fourth term. City Council Speaker Christine Quinn is thought to be the leading contender for the Democratic nomination. The Republican frontrunner, according to the Daily News, is Joe Lhota. He was a deputy mayor during the administration of Republican Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Snubs And Successes: 6 Lessons Learned From This Year's Emmy Nominations

HBO's Game of Thrones emerged as the most-nominated series with 19 nods for the Primetime Emmy Awards, but new series such as FX's Fargo and HBO's True Detective scored, too.
NPR

'Captain Pizza' Saves The Day, But Doesn't Save Himself A Slice

A pilot found himself hungry during a midflight delay. But instead of just buying a pizza for himself, he bought 50 pizzas for the entire Frontier Airlines plane.
NPR

In Texas, Obama Sets Stage To Answer 'Do-Nothing' Congress

President Obama knows he's unlikely to get support from Texas' predominantly Republican congressional delegation, but being rebuffed will make it easier for him to shift blame to the GOP.
NPR

A New Device Lets You Track Your Preschooler ... And Listen In

LG's KizON wristband lets you keep tabs on your child. But some experts say such devices send the wrong message about the world we live in. And the gadgets raise questions about kids' privacy rights.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.