New York’s former state Senate majority leader was recently convicted in federal court of wire fraud, bribery and extortion for attempting to bribe Republican political operatives to get his name on the ballot for New York City mayor.
Former Sen. Malcolm Smith’s corruption conviction in a White Plains courtroom stems from a scheme from 2013 wherein Smith agreed to pays bribes to GOP leaders to get the Republican ballot line. According to court documents, the Democratic senator paid $40K to the chairman of the Bronx GOP and the Republican Vice Chair in Queens in order to run on the Republican ticket. Those two men also were convicted on four counts of corruption as well.
The former senator’s attorney announced that his client plans an appeal before his July 1 sentencing date, where he is facing up to 45 years in prison.
The 58-year-old former Senate leader assumed his top position in 2008, but his leadership was damaged when two colleagues crossed party lines and sided with the GOP, causing Democratic leaders to replace him the following year. He was up for re-election in 2014, but lost after the first trial wound up ending as a mistrial.
Others with alleged involvement in the scandal are still awaiting trial on their charges, while some have pleaded guilty or already been convicted.
Bribe and kickback allegations have long dogged a string of New York politicians. Nearly 40 state legislators and lawmakers have been brought up on ethical and legal complaints in the last 15 years.
White collar crime is taken very seriously by the authorities, and convictions can and do result in lengthy prison sentences along with stiff fines. At the first indication that you may be facing criminal charges or are the subject of an investigation, seek competent criminal defense representation to protect your liberty and reputation.
Source: The Journal News, “Malcolm Smith convicted of bribery, fraud” Jon Campbell, Feb. 05, 2015