Smith, Halloran & Tabone all plead not guilty
by Shane Miller
Apr 23, 2013 | 3732 views | 0 0 comments | 36 36 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Councilman Dan Halloran & Vince Tabone
Councilman Dan Halloran & Vince Tabone
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All of the defendants in the bribery scheme to get State Senator Malcolm Smith on the Republican ballot for mayor pleaded not guilty in federal court in White Plains on Tuesday.

The six people in the indictment include Smith, Councilman Dan Halloran, Queens County GOP Party vice chairman Vince Tabone, Bronx Republican Chairman Joseph Savino, and upstate Spring Valley Mayor Noramie Jasmin and Deputy Mayor Joseph Desmaret.

According to the charges, Smith, a top state Democrat, was allegedly trying to buy off city Republican leaders because he needed at least three of the five borough party leaders to support him as a GOP candidate without switching his Democratic Party affiliation.

In an elaborate scheme, Smith arranged for what he thought were sympathetic real estate developers that turned out to be an undercover FBI agent and cooperating witness to bribe the two party leaders named in the indictment.

“Senator Malcolm Smith tried to bribe his way to a shot at Gracie Mansion. Smith drew up the game plan and Councilman Halloran essentially quarterbacked that drive by finding party chairmen who were wide open to receiving bribes,” said U.S. District Attorney Preet Bharara when the charges were announced earlier this month.

If convicted on the charges, which include bribery, conspiracy and wire fraud, Smith and Halloran each face up to 45 years in prison. Tabone could be sentenced to up to 25 years behind bars.

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