On Tuesday, law enforcement officials arrested a State senator from New York and charged the high-ranking Democrat with attempting to buy a place on the GOP ticket on the mayoral race for New York City.
In all, six politicians were arrested including two other Democrats and three Republicans. They were charged with receiving collectively over $100,000 worth of bribes in secret meetings that were held at times in hotel rooms, state offices and even parked cars, according to documents filed in court.
The scheme could potentially be the largest scandal involving politicians in years in New York. Authorities said the scheme was carried out to game the first mayoral race that is wide open in New York City in more than 10 years. In November, New Yorkers will go to the polls to vote for a mayor to replace the outgoing Michael Bloomberg, who will wrap up a third term at the end of 2013.
Queens Democrat Malcolm Smith, a New York State Senator, who was considered by most to be a long-shot mayoral candidate, is alleged to have made payments to a councilman of New York City to help bring about meetings with top Republicans of New York to assist in helping him get on the ballot for mayor in November.
Smith along with Daniel Halloran, the councilman, who is from Queens as well, was amongst six politicians taken into custody Tuesday. Late in the day on Tuesday, the six appeared before a Federal judge in White Plains, New York and had to post bail of $250,000. The charges the six will face range from mail and wire fraud to bribery and extortion.