A federal prosecutor says a Democratic state lawmaker wanted to pay GOP bosses to let him run for mayor of New York City as a Republican, which is easier in a city crowded with Democratic politicians.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara says Tuesday's arrest of state Sen. Malcolm Smith, City Councilman Dan Halloran and four others was part of a "Show me the money" political culture.
A criminal complaint against Smith says that in meetings with a cooperating witness and an undercover FBI agent posing as a wealthy real estate developer, Smith agreed to bribe up to five leaders of Republican Party county committees in New York City's five boroughs so he could run for mayor as a Republican.
Attorneys for Smith and Halloran deny the allegations.
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