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Jury Unclear On Victim In Trial Of Former Mayoral Consultant

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TWC News: Jury Unclear On Victim In Trial Of Former Mayoral Consultant
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On their second day of deliberations Thursday, jurors asked whether there was a specific victim in the trial of John Haggerty, the political consultant accused of stealing $1.2 million from Mayor Michael Bloomberg's 2009 re-election campaign.

Prosecutors have argued that the mayor is the victim, as they say Haggerty used Bloomberg's money that was meant for a ballot security operation to buy a house.

However, the mayor donated the money to the state Independence Party, and defense lawyers argue that Bloomberg could not control how the political party spent the donation.

"Once he makes that lawful contribution, even [the prosecution's] witnesses, [former Deputy Mayor Kevin] Sheekey said it, their experts said it, the election law expert said it, he lost ownership of the money," said Dennis Vacco, Haggerty's lawyer. "Because it's a voluntary contribution, you can't make the $1.2 million contribution and have some ownership strings attached to it. You make the $1.2 million contribution, you lose control over it."

The juror also asked the judge if they have to consider the specific victim when weighing the charges.

Also, the jury asked to see all of the evidence presented in the four-week trial, suggesting that a verdict is not coming any time soon.

Haggerty, who is charged with grand larceny and money laundering, faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.

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