Ex-Bloomberg Aide Gave Slipshod Budget, Defense Says

A defense lawyer said in closing arguments Tuesday that the political operative accused of bilking Mayor Michael Bloomberg out of more than $1 million slapped together a slipshod campaign budget because he believed no one cared about the details.

Dennis Vacco told jurors Tuesday that defendant John Haggerty was behaving "just like a typical government operative."

He said Haggerty merely gave a "loose estimate" of the costs of providing a poll-watching operation for the mayor's 2009 reelection campaign.

Prosecutors argue Bloomberg's campaign relied on the budget when it made a donation to the state Independence Party to finance the effort. Haggerty is accused of doing little, then pocketing the money.

Vacco said in closing arguments Tuesday the $750,000 Haggerty made as a consultant is "a lot of money, but it wasn't a crime."

With the Associated Press