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Independence Party Vice Chairman Says He Trusted Allegedly Crooked Bloomberg Campaign Aide

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The vice chairman of the Independence Party told Manhattan jurors on Wednesday that he had a great element of trust in the former campaign aide to Mayor Michael Bloomberg who allegedly stole $1.2 million from the mayor.

Tom Connolly said he trusted John Haggerty to use the money for its intended purpose, but also said the mayor did not technically have control over how the money was spent once it was given to the party.

Authorities say Haggerty got the mayor to donate to the Independence Party to finance poll monitoring during the 2009 mayoral campaign.

Meanwhile, Dennis Vacco, Haggerty's lawyer, took aim at former Senator Alfonse D'Amato, who called his client a crook on Tuesday night's "Inside City Hall" on NY1.

"Last time I looked, I thought he was a lawyer who should know better than to be making statements like that publicly. He is looking for relevancy," said Vacco.

Haggerty faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.

The trial will resume next week.

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