Closing arguments in the trial of political consultant John Haggerty are slated for Tuesday in New York. Haggerty is accused of stealing $1 million from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg after he was hired to oversee a poll watching operation for the mayor’s 2009 reelection campaign.
Prosecutors allege Haggerty used just a small portion of the $1.1 million from Bloomberg for poll watching efforts, instead using some $750,000 of it to purchase a house.
As the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, Haggerty scored a partial victory Monday after a judge dismissed three counts of falsifying business records—among the less serious charges Haggerty faces.
He still stands accused of grand larceny and money laundering. If convicted, Haggerty could face up to 25 years in prison.
“The case has opened a window on some of the behind-the-scenes operations of Mr. Bloomberg’s campaign to win a third term in 2009.
Prosecutors allege that Mr. Haggerty arranged for the mayor to give $1.2 million to the state Independence Party, $1.1 million of which was to be spent on an Election Day ballot-security and poll-watching operation. The Independence Party provided Mr. Haggerty with nearly $900,000, of which prosecutors claim he stole about $750,000. The prosecution also alleges he ultimately planned to take all $1.1 million.
On Monday, a former campaign worker testified that Mr. Haggerty was one of a handful of people gathered with the mayor in the campaign’s “boiler room” at a Manhattan hotel on election night. On the stand for the defense, Karen Persichilli Keogh described Mr. Haggerty as a political adviser on the campaign. “We were colleagues,” she said.
The image of Mr. Haggerty huddled with the mayor’s inner circle contrasts with the impression that Mr. Bloomberg gave earlier this month, when he testified that he had little interaction with Mr. Haggerty. “He was somebody I would pass in the hall and say, ‘Hi. How are you?’ But we were not personal friends or worked together closely,” Mr. Bloomberg told the jury on Oct. 3.
Jason Post, a spokesman hired by the mayor to represent him at the trial, said the mayor’s testimony was accurate. Many people were coming in and out of the room that night, he said.”