At around 6 a.m. Tuesday, April 2, Malcolm Smith and Dan Halloran were both arrested at their homes in Queens, New York. State Senator Smith, a Democrat who represents Queens Village, St. Albans, and Jamaica, and City Councilman Halloran, a Republican, are being accused of working together in attempts to rig New York City’s mayoral election.
Although both men looked surprised and claimed they knew nothing about what was going on at the time of their arrest, they are being accused of attempting to place Smith in a position to win the election by bribing Republican leaders. When he was placed under arrest Halloran stated, "I’m sure the truth will come out once I have an opportunity to find out what’s going on."
Apparently, in order to get on the mayoral ballot Smith needed the support of three boroughs without having to switch party affiliation. Smith recruited Halloran for help and he was placed in charge of setting up meetings and conducting bribes in order for Smith to get the backing he needed. The bribes, veiled as legal and accounting services, are reported to total thousands of dollars.
In addition to these two prominent politicians, the FBI also paid a visit to Bronx Republican Chairman Joseph Savino as well as Queens Republican Vice Chairman Vincent Tabone, placing them under arrest as well. Both men allegedly accepted bribes from Smith and Halloran in order to get Smith a shot at being mayor.
This whole plan came to light starting in November when a confidential informer and an undercover FBI agent posing as a real estate agent were both used by Smith to help set up meetings in order to get the support he needed from Republican county leaders through bribes. Not one to be caught with empty pockets, it is also believed that Halloran was collecting thousands of dollars through bribes for himself as well.
This kind of teaming up of Republicans and Democrats is rare and interesting. More information will be gathered, with the trial in White Plains federal court scheduled for later today. The public will be anxious to see exactly what roles these shady politicians played in this situation and who else could be involved. With charges including bribery, extortion, and wire and mail fraud, Smith and Halloran could be facing 45 years in prison while Savino and Tabone could be dealing with 25.
After the agents left Smith’s house with the state senator in custody, one of his neighbors put in their two cents saying, "I’m glad he’s arrested." Sounds like crooked politicians don’t make great neighbors either.