From NBC New York, which broke the news this morning:
Law enforcement sources tell NBC 4 New York Smith was allegedly involved in a plot to try to get onto this year's GOP mayoral ballot by offering payments to Republican county chairmen.
The five others arrested include New York City Councilman Dan Halloran, Spring Valley Mayor Noramie Jasmin, Spring Valley Deputy Mayor Joseph Desmaret, and two Republican county chairmen — Joseph Savino and Vincent Tabone.
The New York Post has more details on the alleged fixing plot:
Smith was trying to buy off Republican leaders because he needed the party's support in at least three boroughs in order to run as a GOP candidate without even changing his own party affiliation, the sources said ...
To get on the GOP ballot, Smith allegedly enlisted Halloran, a Republican, to set up meetings with party leaders and negotiate thousands of dollars in bribes. The money was masked as payments for legal and accounting services, sources said.
Halloran allegedly collected thousands in bribes for himself along the way, the sources said.
According to reports, Mayor Jasmin was arrested for apparently taking bribes related to a village land sale. It's unclear how that case is related to Smith's. The New York Times reports the three others — county chairmen Savino and Tabone and deputy mayor Desmaret — were arrested for their knowledge of the respective plots.
According to Smith's website, he currently serves a number of roles within the state Senate, including vice chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and co-chair of two committees on Sandy relief. He was also the president pro tempore from 2008 to 2010.
Smith has represented his Queens district since 2000.
UPDATE - April 2, 11:30 A.M.: At a press conference Tuesday, authorities connect the Smith and Jasmin cases.
They also revealed City Councilman Halloran's alleged motivations for helping Smith.
And detailed the county officials' alleged roles in the scheme.
Jessica Testa is a national reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Jessica Testa at email@example.com.
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