One of Mayor Bloomberg's most trusted campaign aides was indicted Monday for allegedly stealing $1.1 million of the mayor's money he was supposed to spend on Election Day.
John Haggerty, a longtime fixture in Queens Republican politics, is accused of planning a phantom poll-watching operation, then covering his tracks with phony checks - and buying a house with the mayor's money.
Haggerty gave Bloomberg's campaign a grand plan to spend $1,076,750 on Election Day last fall, Vance said, to field more than 1,700 workers, with cars and radios, to monitor polling places.
In reality, Vance said, Haggerty spent no more than $32,000 -- and as the Daily News first reported in February, used the rest to buy out his brother Bart's share of their late father's home in Forest Hills Gardens.
"Promises were made about how these monies were to be spent," Vance said. "They were specific, and they were falsely promised. False pretenses were made to the mayor and his staff."
Vance made clear that the grand jury was continuing to investigate the state Independence Party, which acted as a conduit for Bloomberg's money.
Bloomberg gave $1.2 million to the Independence Party in the days before last year's election. The indictment says $1.1 million was for Haggerty's operation and the remaining $100,000 would be a contribution to the party.
Prosecutors say Bloomberg does not seem to have done anything criminal in the case and is not a target of the investigation.
Nonetheless, the stink surrounding Bloomberg's re-election campaign and all the money he threw around to buy a third term is getting worse and worse.
Bloomberg himself grew "testy" when he was asked today why he used a campaign loophole to conduit the money through the Independence Party to Haggerty rather than through his own campaign.
"I have a right to make donations to people and parties that I think will help this city and this country and this state, and I'll continue to do it," Bloomberg said. "You have exactly the same opportunity to do it."
Perhaps - except the NY Times says the way Bloomberg sent the money to Haggerty was unusual for a political campaign and raised eyebrows:
The indictment culminated a politically sensitive investigation by Mr. Vance, who was elected district attorney in November, that had lasted months. Even before the indictment, there was buzz in the political world about the unusual way that the mayor’s campaign directed the payment, using personal checks from Mr. Bloomberg rather than the campaign’s official account.
Just another example of there being two sets of rules in this city - one for Mayor Moneybags and his political and business cronies wherein laws and rules do not matter and one for everybody else.
I say the press needs to keep digging into Bloomberg and how he bought this third term.
They need to follow all that cash he threw around.
And find out just what Bloomberg bought with it besides this third term.