The FBI arrested Queens City Councilman Dan Halloran and state Sen. Malcolm Smith Tuesday morning for allegedly colluding to rig the 2013 mayoral election.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation's New York office tweeted the news Tuesday morning, after raiding the homes of Halloran and Smith, along with other Republican officials.
Halloran and Smith are charged with conspiracy to bribe public officials, wire fraud, mail fraud and extortion.
The FBI discovered through an investigation that Halloran, a Republican, and Smith, a high-ranking state Senate Democrat, were allegedly using cash bribes and fraud in an attempt to get Smith onto the 2013 Mayoral ballot as a Republican.
Halloran allegedly served as a middleman between Smith and GOP County officials willing to force him onto the ticket — including Queens Republican Party vice-chair Vince Tabone, who is also charged.
"Elected officials are called public servants because they are supposed to serve the people," FBI Assistant Director George Venizelos said in a statement via Twitter. "At the very least, public officials should obey the law. These defendants did not obey the law; they broke the law and the public trust."
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement Tuesday that New York was in the midst of a "public corruption crisis."
"Today’s charges demonstrate, once again, that a show-me-the-money culture seems to pervade every level of New York government," Bharara said. "As alleged, Senator Malcolm Smith tried to bribe his way to a shot at Gracie Mansion – Smith drew up the game plan and Councilman Halloran essentially quarterbacked that drive by finding party chairmen who were wide open to receiving bribes.”
According to the New York Post, Halloran was led away from his home in handcuffs just before dawn on Tuesday, claiming he didn't know the reasoning behind the arrest.
According to the unsealed criminal complaint released by the Department of Justice, Halloran allegedly received more than $40,000 in bribes for his role in helping to organize the plot.
Staff at Halloran's Bayside office did not comment.
Last year, Halloran ran for Congress against U.S. Rep. Grace Meng, whose father was arrested in an FBI corruption sting in mid-2012.