Defense eager to attack NYC ballot-line case

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 19, 2013 at 1:29 pm •  Published: July 19, 2013
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WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) — Defense attorneys said Friday they plan to attack the legal underpinnings of the federal corruption case against a state senator accused of scheming to bribe his way onto New York City's mayoral ballot and five others.

Several lawyers served notice in court that they will file motions seeking dismissal of various counts in the indictment.

Vinoo Varghese, an attorney for New York City Councilman Daniel Halloran, said "almost half the charges against him would go away" if the legal challenges are successful.

State Sen. Malcolm Smith, a Democrat, is accused of scheming with Halloran, a Republican, to bribe county Republican leaders for the GOP line on this year's mayoral ballot.

Because he is a Democrat, Smith would have needed three leaders' permission. The indictment said two of them, Joseph Savino of the Bronx and Vincent Tabone of Queens, accepted tens of thousands of dollars in exchange for their agreement.

Smith's lawyer, Ross Kramer, said he would challenge "some of the more significant counts." He would not elaborate.

In a separate bribery scheme, Spring Valley Mayor Noramie Jasmin and Deputy Mayor Joseph Desmaret are accused of taking money and property to approve a real estate project.

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