Sunday, September 25, 2011
When African-American Larry Seabrook goes on trial for corruption, he wants Jewish Mayor Bloomberg and lesbian City Council Speaker Christine Quinn to testify as witnesses for the defense
The Bronx Council member is accused of steering $1.2 million in discretionary grants to nonprofits he controlled to enrich himself, his girlfriend and family members. He contends that he did nothing wrong and is likely to argue the grants were approved by the Council leader's office and City Hall. Defense lawyer Anthony Ricco said that Bloomberg and Quinn (D-Manhattan) were on Seabrook's witness list, but he declined to elaborate. Ricco has submitted a proposed list of questions for prospective jurors that includes one asking if they have had any dealings directly or indirectly with the mayor or the speaker. The sweeping 12-count indictment against "Cash and Carry Larry," as Seabrook has been called, also includes charges that he collected $50,000 in bribes from a Bronx businessman who won a boiler contract at the new Yankee Stadium. Prosecutors say the bribes were funneled to the Seabrook-run North East Bronx Community Democratic Club and that Seabrook then obtained the money by turning in receipts, some of them bogus. Among the phony receipts was one for the $7 purchase of a bagel and soda near City Hall. Prosecutors say that the receipt had been brazenly doctored to make the total read $177.