State Sen. Malcolm Smith secretly agreed with undercover federal agents that fellow politicians could be persuaded through certain incentives to help him attain his political goals, The New York Times reported following courtroom testimony on Monday.
“Sometimes it takes cash, sometimes it takes checks, sometimes it takes a job,” an undercover FBI agent said in a recorded conversation, which was presented in court Monday, according to the Times. The statement was made in reference to what it would take for other politicians to throw their support behind Smith.
“Right, right, right,” Smith replied.
A meeting between two informants and Smith took place on November 16, 2012, at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in White Plains, the Times said. One informant was a FBI agent posing as a businessman. The other was a Rockland County developer who assisted in the operation after being threatened with prison time, the Times said.
The Times reported that the Queens politician divulged two plans during the meeting: One to set himself up for a city mayoral run by running on the Republican ticket although he is a Democrat, and another that would re-establish himself as the leading Democrat in the State Senate by providing incentives to other state senators to garner support.
According to the Times, following the court session, Smith’s lawyer Gerald Shargel said, “Senator Smith is not charged with any conduct relating to senatorial elections.”
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