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Queens Chronicle

MISTRIAL! Smith, Tabone face retrial in January; Halloran case moves forward next week

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Posted: Tuesday, June 17, 2014 1:27 pm

A federal judge has declared a mistrial in the corruption trial of State Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Hollis) and co-defendant Vincent Tabone, a former official with the Queens County Republican Party.

A spokesman for U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said former Republican City Councilmember Dan Halloran of Whitestone will continue with the present jury.

His trial will resume on June 25.

At issue were thousands of recorded conversations between a cooperating government witness in the case had his rabbi which were picked up on FBI surveillance equipment.

The recordings had not been turned over to defense lawyers in the pretrial stages of the case.

Many of the conversations are in Yiddish, and it is believed that the trial would extend well into July to take the necessary time to translate the conversations and allow defense attorneys to examine them.

Judge Kenneth Karas polled members of the 12-person jury and found that one could not continue to serve if the trial was delayed long enough to allow the defense to review the transcripts.

Smith is accused of trying to bribe Republican officials in the city’s five counties in order to secure a spot on the GOP’s mayoral ballot last year.

Halloran is accused of taking tens of thousands of dollars to act as a middle man between Smith and Republican leaders. Tabone is accused of taking money to help Smith secure the prerequisite party permission for him to run as a Republican. 

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