The FBI arrested New York state Sen. Malcolm A. Smith (D) and five others including Republican New York City Councilman Daniel J. Halloran III in an elaborate plot to secure Smith the Republican mayoral nomination for New York City. According to the New York Times, Smith paid bribes to multiple individuals in hopes of securing their endorsements to run as a Republican.
Smith, 54, was taken from his Queens home Tuesday morning in handcuffs. Halloran was arrested at the same time. Among others taken into custody included Republican leaders from Queens and the Bronx, Noramie F. Jasmin, who is the mayor of Spring Valley, New York, as well as her deputy, Joseph A. Desmaret.
Gerald L. Shargel, attorney for Smith, told reporters that his client has done nothing wrong, “Malcolm Smith is a dedicated and highly respected public servant and he steadfastly denies these charges.” The lawyer said he would address the charges further when he has had a chance to study them.
Smith and the Republicans are charged with an elaborate scheme in which Smith paid Halloran to provide him with access to Republican officials so that they would agree to sign statements that Smith should be allowed to run for mayor as a Republican even though he is a registered Democrat. In return, they were paid lavish fees and promised that Smith would steer lucrative projects to their districts.