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Former Yonkers Councilwoman, GOP Party Leader Sentenced To Prison For Bribery And Extortion

Gavel (credit: CBS 2)

Gavel (credit: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Former Yonkers Councilwoman Sandy Annabi has been sentenced to six years in prison on bribery and extortion charges.

Annabi was convicted in Manhattan federal court in March of accepting nearly $200,000 in bribes to change her vote on real estate deals, prosecutors successfully argued.

Annabi’s co-defendant and former Yonkers Republican party leader Zehy Jereis was sentenced to four years in prison on the same charges.

Annabi was ordered to pay more than $1.4 million in fines and restitution, while Jereis was fined more than $200,000.

Prosecutors said Jereis worked with developers to control Annabi’s vote on two construction projects. In exchange, Jereis was given a no-show job that paid $60,000 a year, according to prosecutors.

Lawyer Anthony Mangone pleaded guilty in November 2010 after he admitted to giving money to Jereis to be used to bribe Annabi.

Prosecutors said Annabi had initially opposed the controversial $630 million Longfellow School redevelopment project in 2006 but then voted for it.

The other project in question was the Ridge Hill retail and residential development, prosecutors said.

According to Annabi’s lawyer, the former councilwoman changed her votes because of concessions made by the developers to help the city.