Party Official Testifies at Trial of Ex-Aide to Bloomberg

A leader of New York state's third-largest political party said he had "a great element of trust" in a campaign consultant now charged with bilking New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Independence Party vice chairman Thomas Connolly testified Wednesday at John Haggerty's trial.

Authorities said Haggerty got the billionaire mayor to give $1.2 million to the Independence Party to finance partywide poll-monitoring during his 2009 re-election bid. The party then hired Haggerty to run the initiative.

Prosecutors say Haggerty used most of the money instead to buy himself a house. He says he did the work that was expected.

With the Associated Press