John Haggerty, a Republican political operative from Forest Hills Gardens who had been accused of stealing more than $1 million from Mayor Bloomberg’s re-election campaign, was sentenced on Monday to one and one-third to four years in state prison after a jury found him guilty of grand larceny and money laundering, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said.
Haggerty, 42, will also have to pay back $750,000 as part of a civil lawsuit the Manhattan DA’s office filed against him, according to the DA. As part of that same suit, the Independence Party, named as a non-criminal defendant, will have to pay $150,000.
“Haggerty’s fraudulent and cynical misconduct has now been punished, and his ill-gotten gains forfeited,” Vance said in a prepared statement on Monday.
Haggerty, a well-known political player who had once garnered praise from legislators on both sides of the aisle, was convicted in October of grand larceny and money laundering.
Prosecutors said while volunteering for the mayor’s 2009 campaign, Haggerty arranged for $1.1 million to be spent on ballot security and poll watching operations during Election Day. Bloomberg’s campaign approved a contribution of $1.1 million of the mayor’s personal funds to the Independence Party to fund those operations.
However, prosecutors said Haggerty never recorded any expenditures for ballot security or poll watching.
Instead, they said he used about $750,000 to purchase his father’s house in the prestigious Forest Hills Gardens neighborhood.
Before Haggerty was sentenced, the judge listened to excerpts of letters sent to him on the defendant’s behalf — including from former Democratic Senate Minority Leader Martin Connor; John Cahill, former chief of staff to Gov. Pataki; and Haggerty’s ex-wife.
The sentence is far less than the 12 years for which prosecutors had asked that Haggerty receive.
Haggerty is the brother of Bart Haggerty, the chief of staff to Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) and a longtime leader in a faction of the Queens Republicans that rivals the borough’s official GOP.