The weeks-long corruption trial of former City Councilman Dan Halloran is coming to an end. Prosecutors made their final argument on Friday, arguing the jury should quickly convict the Queens politician for his role in a massive bribery scheme. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.
WHITE PLAINS—If you ask federal prosecutors, Dan Halloran was out to corrupt the mayor's race.
You ask the former City councilman, as he has argued for weeks in federal court, he was merely navigating New York politics.
"I think we put in a good case and I am confident our attorneys will argue the case the way it should be argued and the jury will see what actually happened here versus what the government said happened," Halloran said.
On Friday it was the government making its closing argument to the jury.
Federal prosecutors played recording after undercover recording, saying the tapes speak for themselves—saying Halloran accepted bribes from an undercover FBI agent in exchange for his city council member items.
Over six months in 2012 and 2013, Halloran accepted nearly $39,000 in cash from the undercover agent or the government's cooperating witness.
Halloran insists the money was a personal loan or payments for political consulting.
The government shot that argument down.
"Being a political consultant is not a magic shield. If he was a consultant of anything, he was a bribery consultant," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin Anderson.
In its final moments to defend the former councilman, Halloran's attorney is claiming the councilman was a victim caught in the crossfire of an FBI agent desperate to arrest anyone.
The government's cooperating witness was also a target depicted as merely a scam artist, attempting to avoid jail time for fraud he had committed years earlier.
"The facts have been laid out in a way that show it was raj and stern's idea from the beginning. It was always them. They are pushing these ideas and Dan is always trying to keep them clear of the line," said Halloran's attorney, Vinoo Varghese.
Closing arguments are expected to wrap up on Monday and from there, the case will head to the jury.