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State Sen. Malcolm Smith of Jamaica is entitled to a fair speedy trial under the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution. He is not entitled to delay the trial over the felony corruption charges he faces until after the voters decide to renominate him or not in a primary.
Yet that’s what’s the senator’s attorney will formally ask a federal judge to do tomorrow. Smith faces conspiracy, wire fraud and extortion charges in a case in which he allegedly sought to run for mayor as a Republican. He was charged almost a year ago, along with five other co-defendants, two of whom have reached plea deals. Naturally Smith doesn’t want the trial to be going on while he’s running for re-election, but it should.
State Sen. Malcolm Smith was one of six people, including Councilman Dan Halloran of
Whitestone, arrested in April on federal corruption charges. Former state Sen. Shirley Huntley pleaded guilty in January in federal court, followed by a similar plea weeks later in state court.
Elections and new laws adopted in 2013 promised sweeping changes across the city’s horizon in 2014, with a new mayor, a new City Council, and an uncertain future for policies on education, law enforcement and city finances.
It could be said that 2013 was a good year to be a political junkie in New York City with Public Advocate Bill de Blasio being elected mayor, and Eliot Spitzer and Anthony Weiner enjoying short-lived political comeback tours.
It also proved to be a bad year to be a school advocate, a Republican seeking elective office or former state Sen. Shirley Huntley.
She was an outspoken, longtime representative of Southeast Queens in the state Senate. She displayed an increasingly disturbing pattern of public behavior before a highly publicized run-in with the law. And she lost her Senate seat in a primary even with the Democratic Party endorsement and a large fundraising advantage.
Her name was Ada Smith.
For an incumbent Democratic city Councilman to have a serious primary challenger is rare.
For that challenger to have outfunded him by more than $25,000 is practically unheard of.
The head of a Queens-based nonprofit agency was arrested Tuesday amid allegations that he stole more than $85,000 in taxpayer funds for his personal use.
Van Holmes, president of the Young Leaders Institute in Laurelton, was arrested in what New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said is an ongoing investigation “into the funds directed by former New York State Senator Shirley Huntley and others to charities like the Young Leaders Institute.”
The head of a Queens-based nonprofit agency was arrested Tuesday amidst allegations that he stole more than $85,000 in taxpayer funds for his personal use.
Here’s the latest disgrace out of Albany: Ex-Assemblyman Vito Lopez, who had to resign after it was revealed that he just couldn’t keep his hands off the pretty young things he liked to hire, has been fined $330,000 by the state Legislative Ethics Commission for his harassment of one young woman after another.
“Disgrace?” you ask. “What disgrace? Sounds like justice to me.”
State Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) dropped out of the race for Queens borough president last Friday.
The move follows the Queens County Democratic Organization’s endorsement 11 days earlier of Melinda Katz, a former city councilwoman and state assemblywoman, for the job.
State Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) quit the race for Queens borough president on Friday.
The move follows by 11 days the Queens County Democratic Organization's endorsement of Melinda Katz, a former city councilwoman, for the job.
It doesn’t say all that much for our political situation when it’s worth going out of our way to congratulate an honest politician. But that’s how it is.
“Shocker! Post finds honest NY politician” a New York Post page 2 headline blared last Saturday. That politician is Queens City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside), who blew the whistle on a builder’s alleged efforts to bribe him.
The recent spate of arrests and criminal investigations involving public officials has ensnared a high percentage of minorities in the state Legislature, leading some in the community to ask if black and Hispanic lawmakers are being targeted.
State Sen. James Sanders (D-Jamaica) decided last week that the question of conspiracy or corruption was far better-suited for an open, frank and free-wheeling debate before nearly 200 people at the Black Spectrum Theatre in Roy Wilkins Park in Jamaica.
If published reports are right, state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) and seven others were taped in former Sen. Shirley Huntley’s home either at the request of the FBI, or at Huntley’s recommendation to the bureau.
In an interview following Huntley’s sentencing to prison last week, Peralta said he is at a loss to explain why either would consider him a possible target for a corruption probe.
State Sen. Jose Peralta, a candidate for Queens Borough President, said he does not know why the FBI or disgraced former state Sen. Shirley Huntley would have wanted to tape conversations with him in Huntley’s home as part of an ongoing corruption investigation.
The New York Post is reporting that former State Senator Shirley Huntley has been sentenced to one year and one day in prison in federal court in Brooklyn on a corruption-related charge.
Huntley, 74, pleaded guilty in February to wire fraud in connection with the embezzlement of nearly $88,000 from a phony nonprofit organization.
Preet can’t be beat, unless you think Loretta is better. The U.S. attorneys for the southern and eastern districts of New York, respectively, Preet Bharara and Loretta Lynch, are in the midst of stellar work that should do more to clean up the political corruption that seems endemic to Albany than most so-called reforms have ever managed.
They’re going after corruption in case after case and knocking down one elected domino after another. Any city or state lawmaker who’s on the take and hasn’t been charged yet must be very, very nervous.
Facing up to two years in prison on a federal corruption charge, then-state Sen. Shirley Huntley wore a listening device to aid the FBI in its investigations into political corruption in New York State. Huntley could dodge serious jail time when sentenced on May 9.
Former state Sen. Shirley Huntley (D-Jamaica), who agreed to wear a wire for the FBI in 2012 as state and federal prosecutors closed in on her, is scheduled to be sentenced today on a wire-fraud charge in federal court in Brooklyn.
The disgraced former senator provided “evidence useful to law enforcement” during conversations she had with three elected officials while wearing an FBI wire in July and August of 2012, all after she was cornered by the bureau and federal prosecutors for her role in siphoning money from “a bogus nonprofit.”
The names of six Democratic state senators and a city councilman from Southeast Queens were among those contained Wednesday on a list of people who had their conversations with then-state Senator Shirley Huntley recorded by an FBI listening device in 2012.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York declined to comment on Wednesday on the names, contained in a sentencing letter connected to Huntley’s case, or U.S. District Court Judge Jack Weinstein’s order to unseal the letter.
Powerful state Sen. John Sampson (D-Brooklyn) allegedly contacted an employee of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn in an effort to identify potential witnesses in a mortgage fraud investigation, and to determine if Sampson himself was being investigated.
A nine-count indictment of Sampson unsealed on Monday alleges the senator told an associate who was a defendant in the case that if witnesses could be identified, Sampson could arrange to “take them out.”
The names of six Democratic state Senators and a city councilman from Southeast Queens were among those contained Wednesday on a list of people who had their conversations with then-state Senator Shirley Huntley recorded by an FBI listening device in 2012.
Those on the list engaged in recorded conversations with Huntley in 2012.
Powerful state Sen. John Sampson (D-Brooklyn) surrendered to the FBI on Monday morning ahead of the unsealing of a nine-count federal indictment charging him with embezzlement, obstruction of justice and making false statements to FBI agents.
Sampson, an attorney, allegedly took the money to finance a run for Brooklyn District Attorney.
Former state Sen. Shirley Huntley
Former state Sen. Shirley Huntley (D-Jamaica) wore a wire and gave at least partial cooperation to federal prosecutors after FBI agents confronted her with the results of court-approved wiretaps of her cell phone in 2012.
Huntley, 74, is expected to be sentenced on May 9 in federal court for her guilty plea in February to wire fraud. The charge was connected with her admission to embezzling nearly $88,000 from a bogus nonprofit organization.