Tuesday, April 02, 2013
Sweeping Corruption Charges In New York Effort To Buy Mayor's Office
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara announced a sweeping set of indictments against a half dozen state and local officials in New York City after a plot was hatched between leading New York Republican leaders and a prominent Democratic state senator whereby the Republican Party officials would sign off on permitting State Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-New York) to run under the Republican Party label for New York mayor despite being a long-time Democrat in consideration for tens of thousands of dollars being paid to the Republican Party officials, along with greasing the wheels of a private real estate development deal. Unbeknownst to the co-conspirators in the plot, the real estate developer was a cooperating witness for the FBI, who was assisted by an undercover FBI agent, and the real estate project was the cover for the sting operation.
In addition to the charges against Smith for a promise to procure state funds for the real estate project, the list of the indicted included: NYC Councilman Daniel Halloran, who accepted $18,300 in cash bribes and $6,500 in campaign contributions and promised discretionary city funds to the undercover agent for his private business and no-work, no-show city jobs for the undercover agent and the cooperating witness; Spring Valley Mayor Noramie Jasmin for a stake in the real estate project in exhange for her support of Smith; Spring Valley Deputy Mayor Joe Desmaret for accepting a $10,500 cash bribe for his support of Smith; Queens GOP Vice Chairman Vincent Tabone for accepting a $25,000 cash bribe for his support of Smith; Bronx GOP Chairman Joseph Savino for accepting a $15,000 cash bribe for his support of Smith. Halloran is a former NYC cop who hoped to land the job as police commissioner in a Smith administation as part of his role in the plot according to the indictment. "Money greases the wheels," an FBI wire recorded Halloran as saying. The U.S. Attorney said “that a show-me-the-money culture seems to pervade every level of New York government” at today's press conference.
Just imagine what a good team of FBI agents and an aggressive prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney's office in Indianapolis could accomplish in combating public corruption here. The same crap takes place every day here. It's just that nobody is looking over the shoulders of public officials here like they are in other states.