State Sen. Malcolm Smith said last Thursday he will name names of those plotting to ruin him and other African-American officials in Southeast Queens via the criminal justice system when his retrial on federal corruption charges begins in January.
Smith was given a few minutes to discuss his legal situation at the start of a candidate forum at Majority Baptist Church in Jamaica. The forum also featured his primary opponents, Queens Village attorney Munir Avery and former Councilman Leroy Comrie.
He said the charges were motivated by racism.
“I was an African-American man with ambitions to run for mayor,” he said. “ ... You will see my innocence is exactly what I say. You will find out who is behind the attacks on all the African-American leadership in this city. That will come out as well.”
Smith was one of six people charged — three black and three white — in 2013 in connection with allegations that he tried to bribe his way onto the Republican ballot for last year’s mayoral race.
Former Republican Councilman Dan Halloran was convicted last month and will be sentenced later this year. Former Bronx County Republican Chairman Joseph Savino and former Spring Valley, NY, Deputy Mayor Joseph Desmaret have pleaded guilty to lesser charges. Former Spring Valley Mayor Noramie Jasmin’s trial date has not been set.
Smith and Vincent Tabone, formerly the No. 2 official in the Queens Republican Party, were granted a mistrial in June.
“Because prosecutors withheld 3,000 hours of recorded conversations,” Smith said. “You can figure that one out yourselves.”
Speaking later about what he believes is a serious effort to gentrify Queens at the expense of current homeowners, Smith told voters not to believe media accounts of the last 16 months.