Former Councilman Gets 10 years in Ballot Bribery

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y (AP) -

A former Queens councilman who was convicted of helping another politician try to buy a spot on the 2013 mayoral ballot was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in prison.

Daniel Halloran was found guilty last year of bribery and fraud by a federal jury that deliberated just 90 minutes. Prosecutors said the Republican helped state Sen. Malcolm Smith, a Democrat, bribe GOP leaders for their approval to let him run for mayor as a Republican.

Halloran, 42, negotiated the bribes and took more than $15,000 himself. He admitted taking the money but said it was legitimate, for work as a political operative.

“It’s regrettable this is the way politics works, but it’s not illegal,” Halloran said. The defense said he “never crossed the line” into crime.

Just before he went on trial, Halloran tried to raise an insanity defense, based on brain surgery he underwent in 2012 to remove a benign tumor. The judge said there wasn’t enough supporting evidence.