Update: April 3, 2013, 3:05 PM
New York City Councilman Dan Halloran responded late this evening after being arrested this morning along with five other local officials and charged with playing a role in what U.S. Attorney for the Southern District Preet Bharara described as “an unappetizing smorgasboard of graft and greed.” Halloran’s response came in the form of a defiant note posted on his Facebook page that referred to him in the third person.
“The councilman denies the allegations and looks forward to clearing his name. When the full story comes out he is confident that he will be vindicated,” the note said.Halloran, one of the few Republicans in New York’s City Council, is being accused participating in a scheme to secure Democratic State Senator Malcolm Smith a spot in the Republican Primary in this year’s New York City Mayoral election through bribery. According to the complaint unveiled by Bharara today, Halloran allegedly introduced undercover FBI agents he thought were businessmen to Republican Party officials in the Bronx and Queens on behalf of Smith. The local party officials allegedly received $80,000 in cash for agreeing to help secure the Republican line for Smith, who, in turn, promised to secure approximately $500,000 in state funds for a project the supposed businessmen were working on. Halloran allegedly took $20,500 in cash in exchange for connecting the undercover agents with the party officials. He also is accused of making a separate agreement to direct about $80,000 in discretionary funds he received through the Council to a company he believed was owned by the businessmen in exchange for $18,300 in cash and $6,500 in star donations for the unsuccessful congressional campaign he mounted last year.
“Senator Smith drew up the game plan and Republican Councilman Halloran essentially quarterbacked it by finding party chairmen who were wide open to receive bribes,” Bharara said in a press conference this morning. “For his efforts, Halloran, a former New York City [police cadet], also harbored dreams himself of becoming deputy police commissioner in a Malcolm Smith administration.”
Along with Halloran, Smith, and the two Republican Party officials who allegedly accepted the bribes, the mayor of Spring Valley and her deputy were also arrested as part of the investigation for allegedly brokering their own deal with the undercover agents. Bharara’s press conference announcing the charges this morning featured several colorful quotes attributed to Halloran on recorded wiretaps including, “Money is what greases the wheels–good, bad, or indifferent.”
Correction: Bharara referred to Halloran as a “former New York City police officer:” He was in fact a police cadet for a few months over two decades ago. It has been corrected.