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Queens Chronicle

Halloran found guilty in bribery schemes

Jury takes less than 90 minutes to convict following eight-week trial

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Posted: Thursday, July 31, 2014 10:30 am | Updated: 11:51 am, Thu Aug 7, 2014.

Dan Halloran faces up to 55 years in federal prison after the former councilman’s jurors took less than 90 minutes to convict him on five corruption charges.

“With today’s verdict of guilty reached by an impartial and independent jury, the clean-up of corruption in New York continues in courtrooms,” said Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, in a statement issued by his office Tuesday at the conclusion of Halloran’s eight-week trial.

Halloran will remain free on $250,000 bail, though a spokesman for Bharara told the Chronicle Tuesday that the Whitestone Republican must wear an electronic monitoring device.

Published reports said Halloran intends to appeal. His attorney, Vinoo Varghese, could not be reached for comment.

The government accused Halloran of involvement in “two distinct political corruption schemes.”

“First, for $20,000, Halloran was willing and able to serve as a go-between to deliver bribes to political party officials, and second he also took nearly $25,000 in cash and illegal campaign contributions to steer $80,000 in City Council money to other bribe payers,” Bharara said.

He was arrested last year along with state Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Hollis), former Queens County Republican Party official Vincent Tabone and three others in a scheme that prosecutors said stemmed from Smith’s attempt to bribe city GOP leaders in order to run for mayor in 2013 as a Republican.

The jury convicted Halloran on one count of conspiracy, two counts of wire fraud and two counts of bribery.

Each count also can carry a fine of up to $250,000. Halloran will be sentenced by Federal Judge Kenneth Karas on Dec. 12.

Former Bronx County Republican Party Chairman Joseph Savino, who testified against Halloran, had previously pleaded guilty to lesser charges, So did Joseph Desmaret, the former deputy mayor of upstate Spring Valley.

Smith and Tabone, who originally went to trial with Halloran, received mistrials last month and will go on trial again on Jan. 5.

Tabone is the former Queens County Republican Party vice chairman. Former Spring Valley Mayor Noramie Jasmin was originally scheduled for trial after Smith. Her trial date has not been set.

Smith is running for re-election to an eighth term. Had he continued at trial and been convicted, he would have been expelled from the Senate.

With the winner of the Sept. 9 Democratic primary unlikely to face a strong Republican challenger, Smith theoretically could win the primary and go to trial just days after being sworn in.

Bharara said there still is work to be done.

“Dan Halloran was the lone defendant in the trial that just ended in his conviction, but he is unfortunately not alone in a crowded field of New York officials who are willing to sell out their offices for self-enrichment,” Bharara said. “This office will continue the vigorous prosecution of political corruption to secure for the people of New York — regardless of party affiliation –—what they deserve: the honest labors of their elected representatives. And we will continue to partner with the FBI, whose outstanding investigative work in this case was instrumental to achieving a just result.”

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1 comment:

  • reg131 posted at 11:00 am on Tue, Aug 5, 2014.

    reg131 Posts: 34

    With this in mind, when does Cuomo go to jail. If Mr. Bharara is cleaning up corruption in NYS, (as was Gov. Cuomo, so we're told) why should Mr. Halloran be held to a different judicial standard than our quintessentially corrupt Governor? Or maybe even our DOJ head, Mr. Holder? That is what's known as dictatorship and tyranny, when the government is immune to its own laws. While I admit Mr. Halloran may be guilty of the charges, let's dig a little deeper into Mr. Cuomo's past and I'm quite certain the Moreland Commission, had it been allowed to continue, would have come up with a few juicy tidbits, no doubt. But, Mr. Cuomo, being who he is decided to stop it. Remember this always.....where there's smoke, there's fire. My point is, ultimately, you can't have two different standards for government officials and/or the people. We are all equal in the eyes of the law, so whatever scrutiny Mr. Halloran was examined with is the same scrutiny that Cuomo should be examined with.