Democratic state Sen. Malcolm Smith tried to pay off some of New York City's Republican party bosses to get himself on the ballot as a GOP candidate, federal prosecutors said.
Halloran and with four other political figures also were charged in what U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara called "an unappetizing smorgasbord of graft and greed involving six officials who together built a corridor of corruption stretching from Queens and the Bronx to Rockland County and all the way up to Albany itself."
"Today's charges demonstrate, once again, that a show-me-the-money culture seems to pervade every level of New York government. The complaint describes an unappetizing smorgasbord of graft and greed involving six officials who together built a corridor of corruption stretching from Queens and the Bronx to Rockland County and all the way up to Albany itself. As alleged, 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. After the string of public corruption scandals that we have brought to light, many may rightly resign themselves to the sad truth that perhaps the most powerful special interest in politics is self-interest. We will continue pursuing and punishing every corrupt official we find, but the public corruption crisis in New York is more than a prosecutor's problem."
Smith denies wrongdoing, his lawyer, Gerald L. Shargel, told The New York Times.
"Malcolm Smith is a dedicated and highly respected public servant and he steadfastly denies these charges," Shargel said.
Representatives for the other politicians did not immediately respond to comment requests.