Judge Declares Mistrial in Malcolm Smith Corruption Trial

A federal judge has declared a mistrial in the corruption trial of state Sen. Malcolm Smith and one other politician because of conflicts with the jurors' schedules. 

Smith and former Queens Republican leader Vincent Tabone are accused of scheming to bribe Republican party leaders so Smith, a Democrat, could run for the GOP line in the New York City mayoral race. Former Councilman Daniel Halloran is also accused, but the case against him is expected to proceed.

The new trial for Smith and Tabone will begin in January.

The case ran into trouble last week when a witness disclosed the existence of more than 90 hours of secret recordings involving a government informant, including 28 hours in Yiddish. The prosecution had not shared the recordings on the grounds they weren't relevant to the case, but defense lawyers differed and Judge Kenneth Karas ordered full disclosure, which would mean the case would run until at least mid-July.

The jurors had only committed to stay with the case through late June and, because of their schedules, could not commit for another month, the judge said. 

-Roseanne Colletti contributed to this report

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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