News surfaced this week that the attorneys of both State Sen. Malcolm Smith and Vincent Tabone, former Queens Republican vice chair, have asked for a delay in their trials. Smith wants to be able to run for re-election without worry of a trial on the side. Tabone’s attorney said that Republican strategies would be compromised if the case went to trial, possibly hurting others up for election.
We hope these requests are laughed out of the courtroom.
While the main players in last year’s alleged scheme to put Malcolm Smith on the ballot for Mayor as a Republican have declared their innocence, the truth should be revealed as soon as possible. If that means that certain individuals are damaged during the upcoming election season – Smith’s State Senate seat will be up for re-election, likely facing a primary challenge – then so be it. Voters deserve to know what their representatives had up their sleeves.
They are guaranteed a right to due process, not a process to dupe voters. Pushing their trials back after this election season is nothing but an attempt to gum up the election process.
And what good does it do for any district who votes for a candidate, only to find months after the election that candidate is going to jail?
It has been close to a year since the arrests of Smith, Tabone, Dan Halloran and others. Let’s not delay the trial any longer. It’s time these individuals faced the charges against them. Let the voters go to the polls, knowing they are voting for a qualified individual.