NEW YORK - The lawyer for Zehy Jereis says his client will appeal the conviction in his federal corruption case.
Jereis, 40, was sentenced today to four years in prison after prosecutors argued that the former Yonkers Republican Party chairman paid Sandy Annabi, a 42-year-old Democratic councilwoman, nearly $200,000 to control her vote on two controversial real estate deals for the city.
Prosecutors showed that after initially opposing the deals, Annabi changed her vote to approve both the Ridge Hill project and the failed plans to turn the old Longfellow school into upscale housing.
Jeris, who is married with children, claimed the money and gifts that he lavished on Annabi, was done all for love and that he was trying to romance her.
Jereis' lawyer, Anthony Siano, said client deserved a sentence much like former Yonkers Republican state Sen. Nicholas Spano who received a year and a day in prison for tax fraud.
Jereis gave up his opportunity to make a last-minute plea. "I have nothing to say, your honor," he said.
Siano says Jereis will appeal the decision and asked that his client remain free during the process. "Mr. Jereis will continue to fight for himself in the appellate court and will file petition on his behalf," said Siano.