WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — State Sen. Malcolm Smith sat at the defense table Wednesday, chin in hand, watching himself on a secretly recorded video being briefed about an alleged bribery plot aimed at helping him get elected as New York City’s mayor.
On the video, the Queens politician appears relaxed in an easy chair as two undercover government agents fill him in on their progress toward convincing all five GOP county leaders to support him, a Democrat, for mayor in 2013 in return for $200,000 in cash bribes, WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell reported.
“We’ll play some golf,” says “Raj,” the FBI agent posing as a wealthy real estate developer, in the video. “And when we leave the golf course, the county leaders will find their bags are a little heavier.”
Smith is on trial in federal court in White Plains. He allegedly paid off former City Councilman Daniel Halloran and top Republican Party bosses, believing running on the GOP line would help his chances at winning City Hall. He needed three of the five county leaders to sign off.
Prosecutors said more than $100,000 changed hands.
Smith is described by federal prosecutors as a prime example of the kind of corruption that pervades Albany. He’s running for re-election despite his legal troubles.
Halloran and Vincent Tabone, who was vice chairman of the Queens Republican Party, are co-defendants in the trial.
Smith’s lawyer says the senator is a victim of entrapment.
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