On Tuesday, jurors took only 80 minutes to decide that former City Councilman Dan Halloran was guilty on five counts of accepting bribes in a scheme to get Democratic State Sen. Malcolm Smith on the ballot for Mayor as a Republican last year. The swiftness of the jury’s decision should send a message that Mr. Halloran’s actions were not acceptable and that none should follow his lead.
While Mr. Halloran has vowed to appeal the decision, regardless of the outcome it may be hard for him to shake the stigma of the decision.
In his statement after the verdict was announced, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said that his office would “continue the vigorous prosecution of political corruption” to ensure that New Yorkers are represented by honest officials. With the trials of Malcolm Smith and Vincent Tabone pushed back to January – after Smith’s September primary and possible November general election for his seat – obviously the U.S. Attorney’s office still has some work to do.
The people of New York deserve better than to be ripped off by officials who care more for themselves than their constituents.