John Haggerty, a former aide to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, was convicted of grand larceny Friday in what political experts are calling a win for the Manhattan district attorney. NY1’s Josh Robin filed the following report.
Don't steal from Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
That may be the most obvious takeaway from the conviction of John Haggerty, his former political aide, on Friday.
Beneath the surface are other observations, however.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. will surely have a more relaxing weekend than if the jury had gone the other way.
The first-term democrat was under pressure to deliver after dropping a rape case against French politician Dominique Strauss-Kahn when problems arose with the professed victim.
"Cy Vance is the winner out of all of this. He's had a bad string of luck lately and he prosecuted a case that no one thought he was going to win, frankly," said political consultant Susan Del Percio.
"In this case, he thought that there was merit to it, and the district attorney did an outstanding job. And they won," said Jerry Goldfeder, the lawyer for Bloomberg’s opponent in 2009.
Bloomberg could also be seen as a winner. After all, he claimed he was wronged and a jury agreed.
However, there's a strong argument to be made that this also damaged his reputation.
The case spotlighted political tactics the mayor would have preferred stayed in the dark. New Yorkers were reminded how much he spent to run: more than $100 million. And his use of ballot security was also question, as he employed poll watchers, which some people consider racially charged. His campaign manager testified that it made him uneasy.
“Just the fact that he had to take the stand, that his staff had to take the stand, that he had to admit that he was paying for the attorneys for several of his staff members in order to take the stand, and the fact that it was also described at every turn that he had to have immunity and it makes people wonder, ‘Why did the mayor need immunity?’” said Del Percio.
Then again, Goldfeder said everyone does ballot security. Even Haggerty's lawyer has said Bloomberg never did anything illegal.
"I don't know that he's tarnished by this. He had a lot of money to spend and he spent it in order to win, and on some level you can't really blame him for that," said Goldfeder.
Lastly, there's Haggerty and his attorneys.
There's really no good news for them, but they can still hope he'll be vindicated on appeal.
Haggerty is currently out on bail.