YONKERS - The first witnesses are expected to take the stand this morning in Federal Court in Manhattan in the corruption trial of former Yonkers Councilwoman Sandy Annabi.

Annabi and her political mentor Zehy Jereis are facing extortion and bribery charges in part over Annabi's vote on the controversial Ridge Hill development.

Jereis, a distant cousin of the former councilwoman, allegedly got a $60,000 consulting contract from Ridge Hill developer Forest City Ratner. Prosecutors say Annabi changed her vote after Jereis paid her off with bribes.

Annabi's attorney argues that his client only changed her vote after the developers agreed to kick in an extra $10 million for the city of Yonkers and another $500,000 to study traffic jams.

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The attorney for Jereis claims his married client gave Annabi $174,000 over the years because he was in love with her and not to control her council votes.

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