WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Stunning new corruption charges were levied Tuesday against the former head of the New York State Senate.
Queens lawmaker Malcolm Smith is accused in a complicated shake-down bribe scheme of trying to buy himself a new Senate leadership role, CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reported.
A grim-looking Sen. Smith walked into federal court in White Plains to face new corruption charges.[cbs-audio url=”http://cbsnewyork.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/corrupt1-jones-36soc-rstern.mp3″ size=”340px” download=”false” name=”Sen. Malcolm Smith, Others Plead Not Guilty To Corruption Charges” artist=”1010 WINS Al Jones Reports”]
The former Senate majority leader, who is already charged with trying to rig the 2013 New York City mayoral race, was indicted on a new and even more troubling accusation — trying to obtain $100,000 from a government witness “to give to other state senators in an effort to win their support … for a state Senate leadership position,” according to court documents.
Smith, along with City Councilman Dan Halloran, GOP party big wigs Jay Savino and Vincent Tabone, Spring Valley Mayor Noramie Jasmin and her deputy, Joseph Desmaret, entered “not guilty” pleas to participating to three separate but related bribery schemes.
“Justice will have its day,” Halloran told CBS 2’s Kramer.
Councilman Halloran is accused of being Smith’s partner in crime, seeking and taking bribes to get Smith, a Democrat, on the Republican mayoral ballot.
“Other than ‘not guilty,’ [I have] nothing to say,” Halloran said.
Tabone and Savino, the vice chairman and chairman of Republican county committees, are charged with accepting $40,000 in cash bribes to help Smith get on the Republican mayor ballot.
When asked if he had anything to say about the accusations, Savino said, “No. I have no comment. Thank you. I’m sorry.”
“I am innocent. I’ll have my day in court. I think justice will be done,” Tabone said.[cbs-audio url=”http://cbsnewyork.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/corruptionsmith-v1-cornell-intern1.mp3″ size=”340px” download=”false” name=”Sen. Malcolm Smith, Others Plead Not Guilty To Corruption Charges” artist=”WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell Reports”]
Tabone is the central figure in another new charge — Smith allegedly scheming to get his help to win the endorsement of an unidentified “prominent person.”
According to the indictment, Smith was counting on Savino and Tabone to come through for him or else they would lose his support for judicial appointments.
Smith allegedly said, “… Let’s just say they screwed you and me and said, you know, I’m not doing anything… This world is too small… Imagine you came to me and said, Malcolm, they screwed me… I got them already asking me about judgeships, because you know judgeships now come through here, it comes through the governor.”
Sources told Kramer prosecutors are hoping to put extreme pressure on Smith so that he will rat out other politicians.
The politicians are not due back in court until July 19.
Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below …