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Queens Chronicle

Judge Karas: Halloran can’t prove he’s crazy

Smith motion also denied; jury empaneled

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Posted: Thursday, June 5, 2014 10:30 am | Updated: 12:36 pm, Thu Jun 12, 2014.

Former Councilman Dan Halloran and state Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Hollis) received legal setbacks in federal court this week as the government and defense completed jury selection in their federal corruption trial.

Judge Kenneth Karas denied Halloran’s motion to use an insanity defense tied to surgery the Whitestone Republican had in 2012 to remove a brain tumor.

Published reports said Karas ruled that Halloran’s legal team raised the issue too late — last week — in tandem with a motion to delay the start of the trial for six months.

Karas also denied a motion by Smith to exclude some of the evidence allegedly obtained by a government informant and an undercover FBI agent who were wearing recording devices.

Media outlets are reporting that final jury empanelment and opening arguments were to have taken place on Wednesday.

Smith and Halloran are being tried in White Plains along with co-defendant Vincent Tabone, the former deputy Queens County Republican Party chairman.

The charges center around allegations that Smith, a career Democrat, attempted to bribe Republican Party officials in the city in order to run for mayor as a Republican in 2013.

Halloran is alleged to have received tens of thousands of dollars to act as a go-between and to facilitate meetings between Smith and GOP leaders.

Tabone, accused of accepting money, is being charged with fraud.

They were among six people arrested last year in connection with the alleged scheme.

Noramie Jasmin, the former mayor of upstate Spring Valley, will go on trial after Smith, Halloran and Tabone. Her former deputy mayor, Joseph Desmaret, has pleaded guilty to lesser charges.

So too has former Bronx Republican Chairman Joseph Savino, whose plea deal may require him to testify in the trial.

Smith is seeking re-election. Halloran declined to run last year.

— by Michael Gannon

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