WNYC's Bob Hennelly is an award-winning investigative journalist. While at WNYC he has reported on a wide gamut of major public policy questions ranging from immigration and homeland security to power outages and utility mergers.
The former aide to Mayor Michael Bloomberg accused of bilking the mayor out of more than $1 million was convicted of second degree grand larceny and money laundering in State Supreme Court in Manhattan on Friday.
Political operative John Haggerty was accused of stealing $1.1 million that Bloomberg donated to the Independence Party for ballot security on Election Day 2009. The mayor's staffers testified they had been tricked by Haggerty.
Haggerty remained expressionless, occasionally blinking, as he was found guilty of second-degree grand larceny and money laundering. Haggery, who was acquitted of first-degree grand larceny, faces up to 15 years in prison at sentencing.
Bloomberg testified for 2-1/2 hours in the trial and said his former aide did not deliver on what he promised to do. Prosecutors said that rather than use the money to deliver ballot security, Haggerty spent $600,000 to buy his father’s Queens home and spent less than $32,000 on monitoring the city’s 1,355 polling places.
“We could have done a lot of good in society,” Bloomberg said from the stand. “It’s a lot of money.”
The defense said once the mayor donated the money, he could no longer decide what would be done with it.
During the unusual campaign, jurors sat through Bloomberg's testimony and other members of his administration, getting a unique view of how the mayor operates.
With reporting by Mirela Iverac