Allegedly corrupt councilman Dan Halloran will not seek re-election
City Councilman Dan Halloran, who pleaded not guilty to federal bribery and corruption charges, said he will not seek re-election to his seat in eastern Queens.
"Regrettably, I must now focus my attention on clearing my name and restoring my reputation, while I continue to discharge my sworn duties as a member of the New York City Council," Halloran, a Republican, said in a statement.
The announcement follows a vote by the Queens County Republican Organization not to endorse the freshman lawmaker for re-election.
Halloran has been accused of involvement in an alleged bribe scheme aimed at securing the cooperation of Republican officials in getting State Senator Malcolm Smith, a Democrat, into the G.O.P. mayoral primary.
Halloran was also accused by the U.S. attorney's office of taking cash payments in exchange for promises to send city tax dollars to fund a nonprofit group.
Halloran, who was married when he was first elected to office in 2009, has seen his personal life implode. He reportedly had affairs with two young women who worked for him: one was his former chief of staff, and the other an unpaid intern.
There are at least seven candidates interesting in running for the seat, including a former aide to Halloran, Chrissy Voskerichian; the opponent Halloran defeated in 2009, Kevin Kim; and a former aide to Governor Andrew Cuomo, Austin Shafran.
Here's Halloran's statement, from the release:
It has been the greatest honor to serve this beautiful district, in which I am proud to have lived my entire life. For these last four years, our community has been fortunate to have had my incredible Council District 19 staff working hard to resolve issues between the citizenry and their City government. We owe them a great debt. They continue work diligently in the people’s interest, and it saddens me that these dedicated public servants have suffered along with me.
Regrettably, I must now focus my attention on clearing my name and restoring my reputation, while I continue to discharge my sworn duties as a member of the New York City Council.
After much thought, I have concluded that it is impossible for me to properly do these things and take on the enormous demands of a political campaign, so I will not to pursue another term in the Council.
Our Nation enshrines the presumption of innocence for a reason, and I look forward to having my day in court, where I am confident that I will ultimately be vindicated. Now is the time I must work to that end.
I thank all those who have supported me. Your encouragement has been a comfort and I am forever grateful.