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Former City Councilman Standing Trial Says He Followed in Bloomberg's Footsteps

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Former Queens City Councilman Dan Halloran has been testifying in his own corruption trial for four days. Now, he wants to bring in a whole new defense strategy: blame former Mayor Michael Bloomberg. NY1's Courtney Gross filed following report.

WHITE PLAINS—Dan Halloran says he has something in common with the city's 108th mayor.

"I think Mr. Bloomberg followed campaign finance laws as I followed them, and I think that's the system that is set up and it is what it is," Halloran said.

As the former councilman wraps up his own testimony at his weeks-long corruption trial, Halloran is trying to bring in a new player: former Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Halloran is accused of orchestrating an elaborate scheme to get Democrat State Senator Malcolm Smith on the GOP line in last year's mayor's race.

Federal prosecutors say Halloran helped bribe Republican leaders to try to secure a spot on the ballot for Smith.

Halloran's defense team says the thousands of dollars pocketed by these party leaders were not bribes, but consulting fees.

They say certain documents helped Halloran determine the so-called fee for each leader.

The documents are hundreds of pages of Mayor Bloomberg's campaign finance records from his 2009 re-election campaign.

At the time, Bloomberg, an independent, donated thousands of dollars to Republicans as he looked to secure the ballot line for his own third term run.

Halloran suggests he reviewed those tactics when he was orchestrating Smith's attempt to snag the GOP slot, and his attorney says these documents should be used as evidence in the case.

On Monday, he said there was one major difference between what Halloran did and what Bloomberg pulled off.

"The difference is Bloomberg had infinitely more money than Malcolm Smith did to get himself out, to get a Wilson Pakula. That's the difference—he just had more money," said Halloran's attorney, Vinoo Varghese.

A spokesman for the former mayor did not comment.

Halloran has already been testifying for four days and if he goes through these hundreds of pages of documents from the Bloomberg campaign as expected, it's unlikely his stint on the witness stand will end anytime soon.

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