Malcolm Smith, Dan Halloran and 4 other politicians plead not guilty in corruption case

Posted at 6:53 PM, Apr 23, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-08 15:56:45-04

WHITE PLAINS, NY (PIX11) — The so-called Gang of Six, which includes State Senator Malcolm Smith and New York City Councilman Dan Halloran, arrived at the White Plains Federal Courthouse Tuesday and said practically nothing to reporters  about mounting corruption charges against them.

All six faced a judge Tuesday and were arraigned and entered pleas of not guilty to charges of bribery, extortion and fraud.

In addition to Smith and Halloran, the others officials charged are Republican Party leaders Vincent Tabone and  Joseph Savino and Spring Valley’s Mayor Noramie Jasmine and Deputy Mayor Joseph Desmaret.

Malcolm Smith

Malcolm Smith arrives at the federal courthouse in White Plains on Tuesday.

The accusations against the group center on three separate but related bribery charges, according to the U.S. prosecutors office. Smith, prosecutors said, with the help of Halloran schemed and plotted to bribe  Republican leaders for a GOP line in the upcoming New York City mayoral ballot.

Despite the seriousness of the charges, by all appearances it seemed as though it was business as usual at Smith’s office in Hollis, Queens.  Staffers were still at work, and while the senator was  stripped of his major titles, he still continues to hold his Senate seat and has thus far refused to resign and collect his Senate salary.

Several New York lawmakers have, however, voiced their concern over  Smith and others named in the 31-page indictment holding onto positions of power.

State Sen.  Dan Squadron of Brooklyn was one of the first to speak out.

“This is something that belongs in the ‘House of Cards’, not an election to decide who will run our city or any part of our government … regardless of the outcome of the criminal charges filed against Senator Smith, he has lost the public trust–and he should resign,” Squadron said in a statement.