2015-11-11 / Front Page

Smith Surrenders At Pennsylvania Prison

By Liz Goff

Disgraced former state Sen. Malcom Smith turned himself in to officials at a federal prison in Pennsylvania on November 6, to begin serving his seven-year sentence for trying to bribe himself onto the 2013 Republican Party mayoral primary ballot.

An attorney for the convicted former Queens lawmaker last week asked the court to delay Smith’s surrender so he could attend a program that would “prepare him for the prison experience.”

Smith’s attorney, Marc Fernich, presented the request to a White Plains federal court judge who denied the plea. Fernich said his client wanted to attend the program called, “A Day In The Life of A BOP (Bureau of Prisons) Inmate” to help him adjust to life behind bars in a federal lockup.

A White Plains federal jury took just 90 minutes last February to find Smith guilty of plotting to bribe Republican Party officials for a spot on the party’s 2013 primary ballot. Former City Councilmember Dan Halloran was convicted of masterminding the Smith bribery scheme.

Halloran, 44, was sentenced to 10 years on his bribery conviction, He surrendered to officials at a Kentucky federal prison on June 5, after a federal appeals court nixed his bid to remain free on bail while he appeals his conviction.

Halloran, a former attorney, former prosecutor and two-term City Councilmember, was considered a rising star in the GOP before news broke of his involvement in the bribery scheme. Halloran was first elected to the City Council in 2009 to represent neighborhoods in eastern Queens.

The federal jury found that Smith, a democrat, sought help from Halloran, a conservative Republican, to get his name on the Republican Party’s 2013 primary ballot. As a Democrat, Smith, under current law, needed Republican Party support in at least three boroughs to run as a Republican candidate without changing his party affiliation.

The jury decided that Smith, in an attempt to gather that support, asked Halloran to schedule meetings with Republican Party leaders and negotiate thousands of dollars in bribes.

Prison officials confirmed that Smith surrendered at about 9:15 a.m. on November 6 to authorities at the U.S. Penitentiary in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.

Fenrich said he plans to appeal Smith’s conviction.

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