City Councilman Dan Halloran of Queens announced Wednesday that he is ending his re-election campaign now that he is facing multiple corruption charges.
Halloran was arrested nearly a month ago, along with state Senator Malcolm Smith and two Republican party leaders.
The councilman was charged with using bribes and other favors to put Smith on the Republican primary ballot in the mayoral election.
He pleaded not guilty and repeatedly said that he is looking forward to his day in court.
In a statement released Wednesday, Halloran says, "Regrettably, I must now focus my attention on clearing my name and restoring my reputation, while I continue to discharge my sworn duties as a member of the New York City Council. After much thought, I have concluded that it is impossible for me to properly do these things and take on the enormous demands of a political campaign, so I will not to pursue another term in the Council."
The councilman says in his statement that he will finish his present term and thanks his staff and supporters.
Halloran faces two wire fraud charges that each have a maximum 20-year prison sentence.
In her own statement, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn suggested that may not be enough.
"I urge Council Member Halloran to think hard about whether he should go further and step down immediately," Quinn's statement read.
She's been looking at additional reports the Queens councilman had romantic relationships with staffers. He hasn't commented on those.
No one answered when NY1 knocked on the councilman's door. His spokesman declined to comment, other than to say Halloran has no intention of resigning.
For some, Halloran's exit from public life would no doubt be a relief.
At best, he's puzzled many, claiming once that sanitation workers organized a slowdown during a 2010 blizzard.
More recently, feds charge that he shook down tens of thousands of dollars worth of bribes with lines out of a B-movie.
"You can't get anything without the money," he allegedly told a cooperating witness, adding a vulgarity for good measure. "Money is what greases the wheels - good, bad or indifferent."
"Ultimately, I think that he made the right decision, for himself and for his constituents," said Queens Councilman Eric Ulrich.
One of four City Council Republicans, Halloran's district is in Northeast Queens. Several Democrats are vying to replace him.
Republicans are eager for a bid by Rudy Giuliani, a council staffer and cousin of the former mayor.