Politicians busted in 'bribery plot' to rig mayor race - New York News

Politicians busted in 'bribery plot' to rig mayor race

Posted: Updated:
NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Federal authorities arrested state Sen. Malcolm Smith, New York City Councilman Dan Halloran, Spring Valley Mayor Noramie Hasmin, Spring Valley Deputy Mayor Joseph Desmaret, Bronx Republican Chairman Joseph Savino, and Queens Republican Vice Chairman Vincent Tabone Tuesday morning as part of a federal bribery investigation.

The six defendants were involved in three bribery schemes that saw tens of thousands of dollars change hands, according to the FBI.

Smith, 56, and Halloran, 42, were reportedly plotting to rig this year's New York City mayoral election through fraud and bribes.
 
The pair allegedly formed an alliance built on cash payments and fraud to get Smith - one of the state's top Democrats - placed on the GOP mayoral ballot.

Agents arrested them both at their Queens homes shortly after 6 a.m.

Investigators claim that Halloran was paid more than $20,000 to arrange bribe payments to Savino and Tabone so they would support getting Smith on the ballot.

Smith would need the Republican party's support in at least three boroughs in order to run as a GOP candidate without changing his own party affiliation

After a series of meetings to negotiate the price for their approval, Savino and Tabone each met with Halloran and an undercover informant—at separate times, in the same restaurant—to receive payoffs.

FBI Assistant Director George Venizelos issued a statement saying: "Elected officials are called public servants because they are supposed to serve the people. Public service is not supposed to be a shortcut to self-enrichment... As alleged, these defendants did not obey the law; they broke the law and the public trust. There is a price to pay for that kind of betrayal."

In August, Smith confirmed to Fox 5 News that he was considering running for mayor of New York City on the Republican line.

Smith represents a liberal part of Queens but he supports the NYPD's stop-and-frisk program and expanding charter schools.

Smith said he was focused on his reelection to the state Senate, but after that may consider running for mayor. He said he had spoken to some GOP leaders about it.

A spokesman for Smith said that the senator would be "vindicated."

"The Senator has record of 13 years of dedication, hard work and integrity to the people he serves in Queens," said spokesman Todd Shapiro. "He has provided to the heath, safety and well-being of the almost 20 million residents in New York."

The FBI said that Mayor Jasmin and Deputy Mayor Desmaret conspired to rig the sale of a parcel of Spring Valley property.

"The integrity of the electoral process for the voters of New York City must be preserved," New York Republican Chairman Ed Cox said in a statement.

While at an event in Buffalo on Tuesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, called the arrests "troubling."

"We have zero tolerance for any violation of the public integrity and the public trust," Cuomo said, according to the AP.

MyFoxNY/with the Associated Press

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • 8 things to do in August

    8 things to do in August

    Friday, August 1 2014 10:16 AM EDT2014-08-01 14:16:28 GMT

    July came and went in the blink of an eye, or squint since the sun was so bright. As you dwell on the memories of 4th of July, weekends at the beach, nights at the ballpark and a good amount of warm weather, August is going to be another month to make more memories. Restaurant Week is still going on as well as SummerStage, but there is so much more happening in August. Here's a list of 8 things you can do in  New York throughout the month of August.

    July came and went in the blink of an eye, or squint since the sun was so bright. As you dwell on the memories of 4th of July, weekends at the beach, nights at the ballpark and a good amount of warm weather, August is going to be another month to make more memories. Restaurant Week is still going on as well as SummerStage, but there is so much more happening in August. Here's a list of 8 things you can do in  New York throughout the month of August.

  • Expert: 'Mini tornado' caused skydiver death

    Expert: 'Mini tornado' caused skydiver death

    Friday, August 1 2014 10:09 AM EDT2014-08-01 14:09:20 GMT
    A safety expert for a national skydiving association says a "mini tornado" caused the accident that killed a correction officer and injured his instructor during a tandem jump.
    A safety expert for a national skydiving association says a "mini tornado" caused the accident that killed a correction officer and injured his instructor during a tandem jump.
  • Man arrested for road rage shooting

    Man arrested for road rage shooting

    Friday, August 1 2014 9:15 AM EDT2014-08-01 13:15:13 GMT
    An upstate man is under arrest after police say he opened fire on another driver on I-84.The New York State Police say that Masey Moshref, 26, of Wappinger Falls faces a slew of felony charges after the Wednesday evening incident.At approximately 6:28 p.m., police received a 911 call from a driver who said a man driving a green Honda Accord bearing California license plates pulled alongside of his vehicle and displayed a black handgun.The victim says the man fired one shot at his vehicle, str...
    An upstate man is under arrest after police say he opened fire on another driver on I-84.The New York State Police say that Masey Moshref, 26, of Wappinger Falls faces a slew of felony charges after the Wednesday evening incident.At approximately 6:28 p.m., police received a 911 call from a driver who said a man driving a green Honda Accord bearing California license plates pulled alongside of his vehicle and displayed a black handgun.The victim says the man fired one shot at his vehicle, str...
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices