Some may recall last year that Democratic New York State Senator Malcolm Smith demanded an apology from Lil Wayne over the rapper’s dismissal of the city. Sen. Smith made the news again earlier today, this time after he and City Councilman Dan Halloran were busted by the Feds for attempting to rig the upcoming mayoral election. Yes, this really happened.
The New York Daily News writes that the pair of elected officials got nabbed by the FBI for their role in a bribery scheme, along with four other suspects who hold office. Smith and Halloran tried to buy off GOP members to back the senator as he switched from Democrat to Republican on the ballot bid for the position Mayor Michael Bloomberg currently holds.
The plot showed a supreme bipartisan effort, as Halloran is a Republican that represented Queens as did Sen. Smith. The plan was to buy off borough leaders to gain Smith three of the five votes needed to get his name entered on the ballot. Smith was never reported to be running, so the nature of this transaction was quiet up until now.
Bronx Republican Chairman Jay Savino and Queens GOP vice chairman Vincent Tabone were slated to get bribes disguised as consulting contracts via Halloran. Also charged were Spring Valley’s Mayor Noramie Jasmin and Deputy Mayor Joseph Desmaret. The bust was successful due to an FBI sting operation where an agent pretended to be a wealthy real estate magnate and recorded conversations dating back to last November.
Halloran was led to believe he would be paid $20,500 while Tabone and Savino were to earn $40,000 in bribes with a promise of $40,000 more. Officials say some payments may have already occurred. A spokesperson for Smith said that disgraced senator will come out clean.
“The senator has a record of dedicated community and public service for over 13 years and will be vindicated when the truth comes out and looks forward to all the facts that will be coming out in the near future,” the spokesperson said. OK, then.
Check out the gallery of the accused on the following pages.
[Spotted at ANIMAL]
Photos: AP/New York Daily News