8:38 am Dec. 2, 2011
Former Assemblyman Michael Benjamin has written a column criticizing U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara for having already lost one case against Assemblyman William Boyland Jr. and for calling unreliable witnesses against Councilman Larry Seabrook.
Benjamin, a longtime fixture in Bronx Democratic politics, offers some interesting backstory to bolster his explanation of what the case against Seabrook seems to be falling apart.
One of the witnesses against Seabrook who is now claiming to have dementia is represented by a lawyer, William T. Martin, who served as a judge in the late 1980s, thanks largely to help he received from Seabrook.
Benjamin also has this note about Martin's tenure as a judge: He was "was indicted on federal charges of tax evasion, perjury and cocaine trafficking. In a later deal, he pleaded guilty to several tax charges and a misdemeanor cocaine-possession charge, and the government dropped the other counts."
Governor Andrew Cuomo is traveling to California today to raise money from people who are happy with his push to legalize same-sex marriage in New York. [Thomas Kaplan]
Federal bribery charges were filed against the chief of staff to Assemblyman William Boyland Jr., who is facing his second round of bribery charges. [John Marzulli]
"You just, like, made me hot," the chief of staff, Ry-Ann Hermon, allegedly said on tape after taking money from an undercover agent. [Mitchel Maddux and Dan Mangan]
An attorney for Councilman Larry Seabrook told jurors to dismiss what he called "so-called evidence" against his client. [Laura Italiano]
A former Democratic assemblyman from the Bronx said the U.S. Attorney's case against Seabrook is turning into the "Keystone Kops prosecution." [Michael Benjamin]
A court transcript shows federal prosecutors explaining why the case against State Senator Carl Kruger is proceeding, even though they dropped the charges against one developer accused of bribing him. [Benjamin Weiser]
"All donations mentioned in the criminal complaint are being returned to the US Attorney’s Office" a lawyer for City Comptroller John Liu said. [Chuck Bennett and Carl Campanile]
An unnamed "adviser to [Scott] Stringer's camp" said the Manhattan borough president could be a "first-tier comptroller candidate" in light of Liu's problems. An unnamed spokesperson for Stringer denied he's changing his plan to run for mayor. [Josh Margolin]
A deal to overhaul the management of city pension funds is on hold, thanks to Liu's campaign-finance problems. [Reuven Blau]
Liu's hiring of a former MF Global official who was "sacked" for losing money is another head-scratcher, one editorial page writes. [Daily News]
Republican Senate Leader Dean Skelos and Democratic Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver "are prepared" to support Cuomo on expanding the number of casinos in New York. [Ken Lovett]
At least four Republican statesenators may support raising taxes if Cuomo decides to propose that. [Erik Kriss]
Some business leaders are also signaling they may support the move, if it's coupled with other measures. [Jimmy Vielkind]
Cuomo is "in an apparent flight from his no-new-tax pledge," an anti-tax editorial page laments. [New York Post]
The "Read Andrew's Lips" feature endures. [New York Post]
State lawmakers may get called back into a special session to deal with the budget. [Thomas Kaplan]
Possibly pay raises for state judges could add $27.7 million onto the state budget. [Ken Lovett]
Former state comptroller Alan Hevesi was denied parole. [Ken Lovett]
"It took 4 1/2 years" for Mayor Michael Bloomberg to break ground on work at Willets Point. [David Seifman]
What might Newt Gingrich have in common with Carl Paladino? [Steve Kornacki]
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