Former state Sen. Malcolm Smith avoided handling dirty money in failed mayoral bid: FBI agent

Thursday, January 8, 2015, 8:24 AM
SETH WENIG/APFormer state Sen. Malcolm Smith faces up to 45 years if convicted of corruption.

An undercover FBI agent testified Wednesday that former state Sen. Malcolm Smith avoided handling dirty money as he tried to buy his way onto the 2013 Republican ballot.

The federal agent, identified only as Raj, recalled on the stand a secretly recorded meeting between him, a cooperating witness, and Smith in 2012.

The disgraced Democratic pol from Queens pocketed an envelope containing $12,000 in checks that the witness, Mark Stern, said was in exchange for future favors should Smith reach City Hall, Raj said.

“Here, take these out of my hand,” Smith allegedly said as he handed the money to an aide. “I don’t like to touch that stuff.”

Raj said there was no doubt City Hall was for sale if Smith got elected. The mayoral hopeful even considered letting Stern handpick a top deputy.

“What do you need out of it?” Smith said during a conversation about campaign donations.

“I want a person in there . . . A No. 2 . . . I’ll make sure the media has someone that’s qualified, but someone I know,” Stern replied, according to a transcript.

Smith faces up to 45 years if convicted.

This article originally appeared in The New York Daily News 

Author: sabrinacaserta

Sabrina Caserta, born and bred in Bronx, New York, is a freelance reporter whose work has appeared in the New York Daily News and Street Sense- a homeless-run street paper located in the District. As a member of Roger Williams University’s class of 2016, Sabrina studied Journalism and Political Science. This fueled her passion for social justice reporting, including issues of homelessness, institutionalized racism, poverty, education and the environment. She also served as the Project Director of the nation-brand initiative, The Re:Imagine Jamaica Project, and as a Resident Assistant for three years. As an avid reader, health enthusiast and travel addict, Sabrina enjoys yoga, cooking and writing in her spare time. She aspires to one day be an investigative journalist and travel the world. Twitter: @sabrinacaserta Email: sabcaserta AT gmail DOT com

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