Bloomberg campaign aide and well-known Republican operative John Haggerty, Jr. was indicted this past week on charges that he stole $1.1 million from Bloomberg during the last election, and used at least part of that money to buy a house.
According to the charges, Haggerty told Bloomberg and the folks running his bid for a third term that he would use the money - which was funneled through the Independence Party - to provide ballot security and poll watching on Election Day. Instead, Haggerty allegedly pocketed the money.
But it's not like he stole all of the money. Haggerty did spend about $32,000 to provide the promised poll watching - he just used a bevy of volunteers to keep the costs down. And about $450,000 of the money went to the Independence Party, meaning, according to Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr., Haggerty only pocketed about $750,000. And about $600,000 of those ill-gotten gains went toward purchasing Haggerty's childhood home in Forest Hills Gardens.
For his part, Haggerty doesn't believe that he did anything wrong, considering he did spend hundreds of hours working on ballot issues for the Bloomberg campaign. Although if he didn't think he was doing anything wrong, that doesn't explain away the DA's charges that he set up a phantom company and wrote several bogus checks in an attempt to cover his tracks.
John Haggerty is a familiar face in Queens Republican circles. For years, he has been trying to orchestrate a coup of the Queens Republican Party, which has been experiencing a Renaissance of sorts lately. Why, just last election the party was able to get three candidates elected to the City Council last election.
Not escaping blame here is the Independence Party, which the DA's office said is flat-out refusing to cooperate. Of course, that didn't stop many politicians, among them State Senator Toby Stavisky from Queens, from sending out press releases in the wake of the scandal proudly announcing that they had received the endorsement of the scandal-plagued Independence Party.