Former Deputy Mayor Kevin Sheekey testified Monday in the trial of former political consultant John Haggerty, who prosecutors claim scammed Mayor Michael Bloomberg out of a large sum of money in the 2009 campaign. NY1’s Michael Herzenberg filed the following report.
Prosecutors say John Haggerty devised a scheme, stole money from Mayor Michael Bloomberg and tried to cover it up.
Defense lawyers say that Haggerty’s the victim, not Bloomberg.
In 2009, Bloomberg was running for his third term in office.
He hired political operative John Haggerty for ballot security operations.
Bloomberg apparently paid more than $1 million to make sure voting in the five boroughs was on the rise.
Prosecutors say Haggerty got the job by submitting a budget and showing he'd hire more than 1,300 employees as poll watchers.
However, investigators believe he was the only employee, did not do the work, used the money to buy a home, faked payments to employees when confronted and used a shell company after the fact to hide his crimes.
The defense says the prosecution has it all wrong and that the Bloomberg campaign just needed a fall guy. Haggerty's lawyers say Bloomberg paid for the poll-watching operation through the State Independence Party, didn't report it as a campaign expense and violated campaign finance laws.
The defense claims journalists were asking questions about that and he's the scapegoat.
The first witness for the prosecution was former deputy mayor and long time Bloomberg advisor Kevin Sheekey, who talked about how he came to hire Haggerty.
He maintains that he had no direct contact with the State Independence Party over its payment for the services.
Come Tuesday, he's back on the stand.
The prosecution does plan to call the mayor to testify under oath.
The district attorney's office has said Bloomberg broke no laws.