“Today is another sad and disappointing day for every New Yorker,” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara announced at his press conference this morning where he unsealed corruption charges against six officials–including State Senator Malcolm Smith and Councilman Dan Halloran–accusing them of accepting bribes to boost Mr. Smith’s mayoral campaign.
“The charges we unsealed today demonstrate once again the ‘show me the money culture’ seems to pervade every level of New York government,” he continued. “The criminal complaint describes an unappetizing smorgasbord of graft and greed involving six officials who together built a corridor of corruption stretching from Queens and the Bronx to Rockland County and all the way up to Albany.”
Kings County District Attorney Joe Hynes is increasing the pressure on Assemblyman Vito Lopez, the once-powerful outgoing chair of the borough’s Democratic Party, by applying for a special prosecutor to investigate sexual harassment reports against Mr. Lopez. Mr. Hynes said past support from the local Democratic organization “had the potential to create an appearance of impropriety,” and an independent district attorney could better carry out the investigation.