Sandy Annabi's appeal denied, ordered to report to Danbury prison Monday

Former Yonkers City Council member Sandy Annabi leaves Former Yonkers City Council member Sandy Annabi leaves federal court after her sentencing in Manhattan. (Nov. 19, 2012) Photo Credit: Rory Glaeseman

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Sandy Annabi will report Monday to Danbury Prison Camp after a federal court on Friday denied the former emergency appeal to postpone the start of her 6-year prison sentence for public corruption.

In doing so, the U.S. Second Court of Appeals is forcing Annabi, 42, to report to the minimum security federal prison at 2 p.m. Monday. There, she will join 209 other female inmates convicted of non-violent crimes.

Her co-conspirator, former Yonkers GOP boss Zehy Jereis, 41, who also was convicted on federal corruption charges last year, is due to report to federal prison at the same time. It is not known where Jereis will be assigned.

Annabi's first bid to delay her surrender date was rejected last Monday by U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon. The following day, Annabi's lawyer, Edward Sapone, filed papers asking the federal appeals court to grant her bail, saying she was no threat to the community and not a flight risk.

Sapone said Annabi was stoic about the failed bail bid.

"She remains confident that he conviction will be overturned," he said Friday.

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Federal prosecutors strenuously objected to Annabi's request for bail in a 63-page court filing that ridiculed Annabi's efforts to avoid prison.

"After spending nearly an entire year on release after being convicted on all counts, Annabi asks this court to consider her 'emergency' motion for a stay of her surrender date and for bail pending appeal," wrote Assistant U.S. Attorney Perry Carbone. "The only 'emergency' is the fact that Annabi has been ordered to surrender in five days, and is doing everything she can to adjourn that date."

Neither Annabi nor her attorney could immediately be reached for comment. A spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office declined to comment Friday.

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Last November, in a possible attempt to shave time off her sentence, Annabi said she is addicted to the prescription sedative Xanax and asked for treatment when she enters prison.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jason P.W. Halperin and Carbone fired back in a letter, saying her alleged addiction "may well be an attempt to game the system." They opposed her placement in a drug-treatment program. The court said it was up to the prison as to whether she will be placed in a program.

Annabi and Jereis -- her cousin and political mentor -- were convicted March 30 by a federal jury in Manhattan on charges that Jereis, the former Yonkers GOP chief, bribed Annabi, a two-term Democrat, with nearly $200,000 in gifts and cash over several years to control her vote on the City Council. Prosecutors said she changed her vote at Jereis' behest on two proposed projects in the city: the controversial Ridge Hill development, a $600 million residential and shopping complex; and a smaller school redevelopment plan called the Longfellow Project.

McMahon sentenced a tearful Annabi Nov. 19 to six years in a prison and a stoic Jereis to four years. At the time, the judge said she did not believe the married Jereis' story that the gifts and cash were not bribes but a bid to win Annabi's heart. Prosecutors said Jereis concocted the lovelorn story -- even creating fake romance-laced emails -- to further the deception.

Annabi said she was innocent but "accepted help without question and often buried my head in the sand."

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"The only love these two shared was a love of money," Carbone said during the trial.

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