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Queens Chronicle

Dan Halloran gets 10 years in prison

Former councilman convicted on multiple corruption charges in ’14

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Posted: Wednesday, March 4, 2015 4:06 pm

Former City Councilman Dan Halloran on Wednesday was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison on corruption charges.

He also will have two years of supervised probation upon his release.

Halloran, 43, was convicted last July on two counts each of bribery and wire fraud, and a single count of conspiracy.

Published reports state that the prosecution had sought a sentence of up to 15 years.

“When elected officials, like Daniel Halloran, not only corrupt themselves but, unseen, corrupt the body politic from within they undermine the public’s confidence in a representative form of government,” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement after the sentencing.

Halloran will be required to pay $43,500.

No information was immediately available as to when he would begin serving his sentence or if Halloran intends to appeal his case to a higher court.

The New York Post quoted federal Judge Kenneth Karas accusing Halloran of lying on the witness stand while testifying during his trial this past summer.

“For five days, he lied on the stand,” the Post reported. “It was egregious. ... There was overwhelming evidence of his guilt ... It was grotesque and offensive.”

The former two-term councilman and one-time rising Republican Party star was one of six people arrested in April 2012 in an alleged plot by former state Sen. Malcolm Smith, a lifelong Democrat, to bribe his way onto the Republican mayoral ballot for the 2013 election eventually won by Mayor de Blasio.

Halloran was convicted of being the middleman between Smith and Republican party leaders in the city. Under state law, three of the city’s five county Republican organizations had to grant Smith permission to seek the nomination.

Halloran’s original co-defendants, Smith and former Queens GOP Vice Chairman Vincent Tabone, were convicted last month for their roles in the scheme. They are scheduled to be sentenced on July 1.

Their cases were severed in July when Karas granted a mistrial after it was learned that prosecutors did not alert defense lawyers of the existence of  several hours of taped conversations that took place in Yiddish between an FBI informant and his rabbi.

The mistrial was granted after some jurors told Karas they could not wait nearly one month and continue to serve on the jury.

Halloran elected to continue at trial, in part his attorney argued, because the former councilman could not financially afford a delay of nearly one month.

Of the others arrested, former Bronx Republican Chairman Joseph Savino pleaded guilty in November 2013 to bribery, conspiracy and wire fraud.

Joseph Desmaret, the former deputy mayor of the upstate Village of Spring Valley, also pleaded guilty in January 2014.

Noramie Jasmine, the former mayor of Spring Valley, has not yet gone to trial. No information about her possible trial date has been available.

Halloran, an attorney and a former prosecutor, was first elected to the Council in 2009 and represented the Whitestone area for two terms.

He had been an outspoken critic of so-called business as usual on the Council, particularly on spending and fiscal matters.

Halloran once raised his profile and eyebrows with a profanity-laden tirade against a car dealership that generated a number of noise complaints from neighbors.

Following the major snowstorm in December 2010, Halloran alleged that city Sanitation employees complained to him that rank-and-file DSNY workers staged a job slowdown during the storm in retaliation for a series of personnel cutbacks by then-Mayor Bloomberg.

He backed away from the claim after the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York opened a probe of the matter.

Halloran’s stock still was high in 2012 after former Democratic Congressman Gary Ackerman announced he would not seek re-election.

While securing the Republican nomination with little trouble, he was defeated handily by Democrat Grace Meng.

Shortly after his arrest, Halloran said he would not seek re-election to the Council, a seat now held by Democrat Paul Vallone.

Halloran’s legal team prior to the start of the trial had attempted to employ an insanity defense centering on a brain tumor he had removed in 2012.

Karas denied their request to pursue it.

The defense also tried to depict the money that changed hands as payment Halloran believed he was receiving for services as a political operative. 

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