Defense in Annabi case goes after prosecution's star witness

Anthony Mangone admitted to tampering with ballots to help ex-state Sen. Spano.

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YONKERS - Defense attorneys in former Yonkers Councilwoman Sandy Annabi's corruption trial attempted yesterday to discredit the prosecution's star witness, Anthony Mangone, by bringing up his admission to ballot-tampering on behalf of former state Sen. Nick Spano.

Mangone said under oath that he illegally wrote in his old boss' name on paper ballots in a Green Party primary in 2000, but he was never charged.

Mangone has already pleaded guilty to bribery and extortion charges in the Annabi case. He faces 45 years in prison, but he's testifying against the former councilwoman in an effort to get a lighter sentence.

The disbarred lawyer has admitted to taking bribes from the developers who wanted to turn the old Longfellow School in Yonkers into upscale housing and needed Annabi's City Council vote.

Mangone claims he made the deal through former Yonkers Republican Party Chairman Zehy Jereis, who is also on trial, but defense attorneys say Annabi never received any of the $30,000 in cash to change her vote. According to Mangone, he used $20,000 of the money to pay off his gambling debts.

Mangone has a troubled past. He represented convicted mobsters and was once accused of running messages between jailed Genovese crime family members and mafia honchos on the outside.

In 2008, Mangone was arrested after a bar fight, but the assault charges were dropped because the victim would not testify.

Mangone is expected to be back on the witness stand Monday. New evidence presented at Annabi trialMayor Mike Spano testifies in Yonkers corruption trial

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