Former New York City Councilman Dan Halloran received a stiff 10-year prison term Wednesday for taking bribes from two FBI operatives to steer city grants and to buy a spot in the 2013 Republican mayoral race for then-Democratic state Sen. Malcolm Smith.
Halloran, 44, a Queens Republican, and Smith, the former Senate majority leader, were convicted in separate trials of being part of the scheme to get GOP county chairmen to give Smith a line in the Republican primary. Smith has not been sentenced.
U.S. District Judge Kenneth Karas in White Plains sentenced Halloran, who had asked for no prison time and said he hoped to pursue a career as a CPR or scuba instructor. He has lost his law license.
Halloran became a poster boy for corruption in New York after being caught on tape telling the undercover FBI agent and an informant, who were posing as corrupt real estate developers, that money was what "greases the wheels" in state politics.
"It's about how much, and that's our politicians in New York, they're all like that, all like that," he said.
He was charged with taking $15,000 in payments from the FBI operatives, and agreeing to funnel them money from a city-funded nonprofit and "quarterback" the scheme to get Smith on the ballot. Two Republican county chairmen were also convicted in the case.
Halloran took the stand and claimed he never actually intended to pass along money from the nonprofit. He argued that the money he got for the Smith scheme was a political consulting fee. Prosecutors said the testimony was false.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement that when politicians like Halloran "corrupt the body politic from within, they undermine the public's confidence in a representative form of government."
Halloran's lawyer could not be reached for comment.