State Senator Malcolm Smith said nothing as he left Federal Court in White Plains after facing a judge.
“Malcolm Smith was bent on becoming Mayor. He was a Democrat, but believed his best shot was to run as a Republican,” said U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.
So bent, the FBI alleges, he was trying to get on the Mayoral ballot by paying for it.
Authorities said Smith wanted to run as a Republican even though he’s a registered democrat.
“Senator Smith needed the green light from at least 3 of the 5 Republican Chairmen in order to qualify for the Republican ballot,” said Bharara.
And that’s where the bribes came in the Feds said.
City Councilman Republican Dan Halloran allegedly acted as a go-between with local party leaders.
He was also arrested Tuesday.
“If the allegations against Senator Smith and Halloran are true, they represent an outrageous abdication of the public trust and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.
Smith’s attorney defended him after court and said he will plea not guilty.
“The allegations in this complaint do not tell the full story, there is much more to this story.
I ask anyone reading this to withhold judgement.” said Smith’s attorney.
Authorities said Smith thought he was enlisting real estate developers to help with his scheme, but one was a cooperating witness, the other an undercover FBI agent.
“He allegedly discussed, which chairman were susceptible to bribes, how much to pay them in total, how much to pay upfront, versus how much to pay after the deal was done,” said Bharara.
The Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Spring Valley were also taken into custody.
Bronx GOP Chairman Joseph Savino and Queens GOP Assistant Chairman Vincent Tabone were also arrested and charged.