Tuesday: Key State Senator Arrested

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 New York state Senator Malcolm Smith and a New York City councilman have been arrested in an alleged plot to rig the New York City mayor's race.
   
The FBI says Smith and City Councilman Dan Halloran were arrested early today at their homes.

Although the case is centered in New York City, it could affect taxpayers across the state because Smith is part of the small group of Democrats who allied with Republicans to control the state Senate.

The Democrat-Republican coalition still has enough members to hold control, but with Smith's arrest the politics of governing the Senate may become more difficult.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement that Smith "tried to bribe his way" into a shot at the New York City mayoral race.
   
Bharara said Smith "drew up the game plan" and Halloran found party chairmen who were open to receiving bribes.
   
Also charged are: Bronx County Republican Party Chairman Joseph Savino; Queens County Republican Party Vice Chairman Vincent Tabone; Spring Valley Mayor Noramie Jasmin; and Spring Valley Deputy Mayor Joseph Desmaret.
   
The criminal complaint alleges that in exchange for payments to Savino and Tabone, Smith agreed to use his power as a senator to help obtain state funds for a road project in Spring Valley. That, in turn, was to benefit a real estate project that Smith believed was being built by an undercover agent posing as a developer.
   
The prosecutor said charges in the case include bribery, extortion, and wire and mail fraud.

- by The Associated Press & 7 News
 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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