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Lawyers Make Final Remarks in Trial of Former City Councilman

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A verdict in the bribery and corruption trial of former Queens City Councilman Dan Halloran could come down as soon as Tuesday. Attorneys from both sides made their final presentations to the jury Monday. NY1's Bobby Cuza filed the following report.

Eight weeks after his trial began, Dan Halloran’s fate is now in the hands of an 11-person jury in White Plains.

“I just want them to understand that there’s a big picture here, that the government gave them snippets – bits and pieces. Our whole case was about showing everything, in context,” Halloran said.

Halloran is accused of accepting and arranging bribes in a failed bid to get Democratic State Senator Malcolm Smith on the Republican ballot for mayor last year.

Prosecutors played surveillance tapes that appear to be damning, but Halloran says while he did take money, it was for legitimate political consulting work, while other payments he considered gifts were even reflected on his tax returns.

“The way Dan interpreted it, and took it, was that this was personally given to him, and he knew that he wasn’t going to have to pay it back, so therefore he did the safest thing—declared it on his taxes. Nobody’s going to declare a bribe on their taxes,” said Vinoo Varghese, Halloran's attorney.

Prosecutors cast doubt on just about every defense strategy, like Halloran’s attorney playing up his law-and-order credentials.

“Him being a former prosecutor, a, uh, Eagle Scout. This is the kind of man Dan is,” Varghese said.

In his rebuttal Monday, prosecutor Douglas Bloom asked the jury: “Does it mean that he’s honest and upright? No. What it means is that he knows better... That is not how an Eagle Scout behaves. That is not how a lawyer is supposed to behave."

As for a separate scheme in which Halloran allegedly traded his City Council member items for $18,000 worth of bribes, his attorney said Halloran never intended to follow through. Prosecutors said that doesn’t matter; he committed a crime when he took the money.

“A verdict in this case could come as soon as Tuesday morning. That’s when the jury’s expected to begin deliberations after it finishes receiving instructions from the judge.

If convicted of all counts, Halloran faces up to 45 years in prison.

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