Federal authorities arrested New York State Sen. Malcolm Smith of Queens and City Councilman Dan Halloran as well as several other state officials. An investigation showed they were allegedly involved in an attempt to bribe election officials to guarantee Smith a spot on the Republican ballot in the 2013 mayoral election.
The FBI also arrested several other New York politicians who allegedly participated in the bribery scheme. They included Bronx Republican Chairman Jay Savino and Queens GOP vice chairman Vincent Tabone.
In addition to the arrests of the New York City officials, FBI agents also apprehended Spring Valley Mayor Noramie Jasmin and Spring Valley Deputy Mayor Joseph Desmerat. It was not entirely clear what there specific role in the alleged bribery scandal was.
"The complaint describes an unappetizing smorgasbord of graft and greed involving six officials who together built a corridor of corruption stretching from Queens and the Bronx to Rockland County and all the way up to Albany itself," U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement.
Authorities indicated that Smith, who was arrested at his Queens home early Tuesday morning, was using the bribes to gain support so that the Democratic Senator could be able to run as a Republican candidate without officially changing his party affiliation.
In the build up to that end, Smith reportedly obtained the go-ahead from several party leaders in Queens by convincing them to support his plan with bribes.
Smith and Halloran have not been officially charged, but a press conference was scheduled for Tuesday afternoon that would detail the extent of the arrests and forthcoming charges.
Smith denies any wrongdoing and his lawyer, Gerald L. Shargel, stressed that his client would be vindicated.
"Malcolm Smith is a dedicated public servant who has served both the state of New York and his constituents in an exemplary fashion," Shargel said in a statement. "He steadfastly denies the allegations that are contained in the complaint."