John Haggerty, a former aide accused of stealing more than a million dollars from Mayor Michael Bloomberg, was found guilty of grand larceny in the second degree Friday by a Manhattan jury. NY1’s Grace Rauh filed the following report.
After two-and-a-half days of deliberations, a jury found political operative John Haggerty guilty of stealing from Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The case was a political blockbuster in which the mayor and his top aides took the stand. Haggerty's former mistress even testified for the prosecution.
“This had money, power, politics, sex. You guys had it every day. This was good,” said juror Stephen Conroy.
The jury found Haggerty guilty of grand larceny and money laundering. He faces up to 15 years in prison. Haggerty's lawyers say they will appeal.
“While we are disappointed with the outcome, we have another day to fight,” said Dennis Vacco, Haggerty’s attorney.
Prosecutors accused Haggerty of stealing more than $1 million from Bloomberg. They say he sold the mayor's top aides on a pricey ballot security operation for Election Day 2009, but they argued he never delivered on his promises and pocketed most of the money.
The case was somewhat complicated by the fact that the mayor didn't pay Haggerty directly. Instead, he funneled the money through the New York State Independence Party. The party then hired Haggerty to do the job.
“He intended to steal the money and he put it to a spot where he knew he could get his hands on it,” said juror Michael Boice.
A spokesman for Bloomberg said in a statement, "For months the defense has attempted to cast aspersions on Mayor Bloomberg and make him the focus of this case. We are pleased that the jury saw through their cynical efforts and reached a verdict based on the evidence and the law."
Despite the conviction, the jury did not agree about the mayor's role in the case.
“We didn't feel Bloomberg was a victim,” said Conroy.
“He was a victim because he was misled,” said Boice.
The trial also managed to turn off at least one juror to politics in general.
“I had no opinions and now I am probably never going to donate to a campaign,” said juror Piper Gray.
Haggerty was led from the court in handcuffs, and his bail was set at $250,000. Both sides are due back in court on November 4 for his sentencing.