Haggerty Trial Liveblog: Bloomberg Takes The Stand

12:18 Short recess. Bloomberg remains on the stand. Some surprise in the peanut gallery here about way the cross-examination has gone, focusing more on Bloomberg’s credibility and less on how the IP operates.

12:13 Question of how decision was made to split the $100k donation from the $1.1 million he gave for ballot security

12:11 Costello is growing frustrated, says Bloomberg is not answering questions he is asking. He should try going to a Q and A

12:08 Costello now trying to submit into evidence  passages from Bloomberg’s memoir that shows that he has a propensity to lie.

12:03 Costello returns to question of Bloomberg paying for lawyers for Sheekey, Harris, etc. Bloomberg says he doesn’t know how much they are being paid.

12:00 Costello to judge: “I don’t like it when he doesn’t answer my questions!”

11:55 Bloomberg on Bloomberg, the book, has been ruled in admissable. Now Costello asks if mayor is aware of CityTime payroll scandal. Asks if mayor’s lawyers ever asked Haggerty for the money back. Asks mayor if he knows Stephen Goldsmith. Major effort here to undermine mayor’s credibility. Costello: “You made a public statement which was untrue about his resignation.”

Bloomberg: “You couldn’t be more wrong.”

Costello: Did you know at that time that he had been arrested? Isn’t that why he was asked to go? Were you 100 percent candid when you announced his resignation?

11:47. Bloomberg says that Haggerty promised things he could not deliver. Costello–“Isnt that what you did at Solomon Brothers?” Bloomberg: “What?” Bloomberg’s memoir is now being submitted into evidence. Costello quoting from book to show that Bloomberg made a career on not telling the truth.

11:44 Sorry for the delay. Tech issue. High drama. Bloomberg has said he did not inform other Indy candidates that they were providing ballot security, says he doesn’t know who other IP candidates were

11:34 Bloomberg doesn’t remember signing document authorizing the formation of his campaign committee.

11:32 Bloomberg says he doesn’t know how IP “books” the money he gave them, either for housekeeping or not, but 100K was a gift, $1.1 million “was going to be spent to provide ballot security.”

11:29 Bloomberg says Harris approves of all personal contributions; COIB memo now in evidence just covers Bloomberg foundatio. Mayor says Harris doesn’t need conflict waiver for her to make personal contributions on his behalf

11:27 Bloomberg says that a memo Wolfson wrote about turnout was about $100k donation, as opposed to $1.1 million he gave for ballot security.

11:26 Costello several times now has said “Mayor Bloomberg, will you answer my question.”

11:25 Costello asking if Haggerty misled Bloomberg about the aims and goals of IP. Bloomberg says he never discussed aims and goals of IP with Haggerty. “He neither led or misled,” Bloomberg said.

11:23 Question now about a $100k donation mayor gave to IP versus $1.1 million he gave to IP for ballot security

11:20 A memo submitted into evidence, a reply from Howard Wolfson to David Seifman of the New York Post, saying that mayor gave money to IP because he supports their aims and goals.

11:17 Some procedural wrangling over a memo about whether or not housekeeping money can go to support a specific candidate

11:07 Bloomberg asks if he recalls a complaint filed with Campaign Finance Board from Thompson campaign regarding non-disclosure. Says he doesn’t recall this.

11:06 Bloomberg asked about staff members doing personal business for him, says he tried to pay them separately out of own pocket.

11:03 Costello asks why the memo to COIB doesn’t just say, “we want her to do whatever we want.” Bloomberg says COIB doesn’t want that kind of language

11:02 Bloomberg says it was Harris, Tusk etc who decided to give $ to IP. Her job was to make sure that what they decided to do happened, oversee paperwork

11:00 Question whether or not Conflict of Interest board permission for Jaffin to coordinate public and private functions of mayor meant that she could give mayor’s money to political parties.

10:57 Costello establishing if Jaffin had authority to spend Bloomberg’s money through language in letter he submitted to Conflicts of Interest Board which involved her coordinating public and private events.

10:55 Bloomberg said he always tries to pay staff out of his own pocket if they are doing personal things for him, rather than have taxpayers foot the bill.

10:53 Bloomberg now examining letter he wrote to Conflict of Interest Board regarding aide Allison Jaffin.

10:51 This courtroom is packed with NY political journalists–Michael Powell, David Chen, Kate Taylor from the Times, Grace Rauh and Errol Louis from NY1, Michael Howard Saul from the WSJ, David Seifman from the Post, court reporters from all the dailies, Bob Hennely from WNYC

10:50 Costello seems to be trying to establish that Bloomberg doesn’t pay close attention to how much people are paid.

10:49 Bloomberg didnt know that a vendor was going to provide ballot security

10:48 Costello asks Bloomberg if he recalls that in Feb of 2010 he said he didnt know anything about ballot security. Bloomberg says he didnt know details, but knew that it happened.

10:45 Costello asks Bloomberg knew details of ballot security in 2009

10:45. Costello asks if he recalls talking to Haggerty about “keeping them from stealing the election.” Bloomberg says he doesnt recall any substantive conversations, except for one “bizarre” one with Haggerty

10:44 Bloomberg estimates that he went to 60-70 percent of campaign meetings.

10:43 Costello asking when Bloomberg started thinking about need for ballot security  in 2009.

10:41 Costello asked if he personally called Haggerty asking him to work on campaign. Says he doesnt recall; staff asked him to reach out to a lot of volunteers from 2005.

10:40 Bloomberg disputes notion that he would spend whatever it took to win in 2009.

10:39 Bloomberg says he was prepared to spend more in 2009 than he did previously. City had become more Democratic, he had angered people with 8 years of decisions.

10:37 Bloomberg asked if he thought it would be a problem with voters that he overturned term limit; mayor says unhappy voters had a right to exercise their disagreements with him

10:36 Costello asking why Bloomberg didn’t go to voters with a referendum. Bloomberg doesn’t recall any meaningful conversations with John Haggerty, says he was just somebody he would see in the hallway

10:34 Bloomberg says that he overturned term limits after people kept coming to him and asking him to overturn term limits, a number of members of City Council came to him and asked him to run again. Seems to think all this happened in 2009 (in fact term limits overturned in 2008.)

10:32 Bloomberg seems to not remember 2008 donation to Indy Party, Costello says it was the largest donation ever given to Indy Party. Costello tries to tie it to Bloomberg’s concurrent effort to overturn term limits

10:31 Bloomberg asked about giving $1.2 million to Indy Party in 2008

10:30 Mayor irritated about line of questioning from Costello asking about specifics of county Republican party donations

10:29 Mayor asked about donations to county G.O.P. parties

10:28 Bloomberg said he knew Haggerty worked for Pataki, didn’t know he worked for Dennis Vacco, knew him to be an expert in “minutae” election day operations. “I don’t know anybody else that knows anything about ballot security,” he says.

10:26 Costello asking mayor about term limits, asks if he spoke “forcefully” in favor of term limits. Mayor says he spoke in favor of term limits, but doesn’t know how forceful it was

10:25 Memo seems to not have been submitted into evidence and so cannot be read aloud

10:24 A series of objections over Costello showing Bloomberg a memo from 2001 from pollster Doug Schoen

10:23 Mayor wearing blue suit, red tie, white shirt, American flag pin

10:22 Mayor admits that he doesn’t know how ballot security was performed by GOP in 2001.

10:21 Mayor–can’t control how money is spent, but money given to G.O.P. in 2001 under understanding they would provide ballot security

10:20 Mayor admits that he knows that he money given to a party is a donation, he can’t direct how it is spent

10:19 Costello asking mayor if he knows about the limits of amount one can give to a state political party, implying if he is aware that donations to housekeeping are outside of those limits.

10:17 Costello getting aggressive, asking mayor about donations to Republican Party. Mayor says he gave to Democratic Party too. “But my question is about the Republican Party. Answer my question,” Costello replies, jabbing at mayor.

10:16 Bloomberg says ballot security necessary for him since most poll workers will be Democrats

10:15 Costello asks if he recalls Freddy Ferrer raising the issue of “ballot security in 2005 campaign

10:14 Bloomberg says he is aware that “ballot security” can have some negative connotations, but not in NYC any more

10:13 Mayor says he first heard of phrase ballot security in 2001, when Republican Party approached him to see if he would pay for a ballot security operation

10:12 Costello asks about Bloomberg switching from Democratic to Republican Party to run for mayor

10:11 Costello going through Bloomberg campaign staffers, asking how long he knows each of them, what they did for campaign, etc.

10:08 Bloomberg says Wolfson didnt have a contract to work on the campaign, says he generally doesn’t believe in contracts, likes to look people in the eye to see if they are trustworthy.

10:08 Bloomberg says he has no idea how much Sheekey is paid at Bloomberg LP

10:07 Mayor says Harris was paid $250,000 to work on the campaign, works on the Bloomberg Foundation pro-bono.

10:06 Bloomberg describes Patti Harris as “my close confidante.”

10:05 Mayor said he didnt think it appropriate for campaign to give the Indy Party money, since money was for all of the Indy Party candidates, not just him, and public has a right to know how much he spends on campaign

10:04 Mayor says he didnt personally rely on Haggerty to provide ballot security, said his staff was in charge, specifically Sheekey, Harris and Bradley Tusk

10:03 Mayor says he doesn’t know specifics of campaign finance law

10:02 mayor says he doesnt know how checks were made to Indy Party, but assumes that they were not cash. Says that it was understanding that Indy Party would get a $100K donation, and rest was for ballot security

10:01 Mayor says $1.1 million to Indy Party was not a donation, was given for a specific purpose–to provide ballot security

10:00 Cross examination begins by Haggerty lawyer Raymond Costello

9:59: Bloomberg clarifies: Ballot security was personal money, not campaign money. Would have been inappropriate to spend campaign money

9:58: Mayor says he does care that the money was taken by Haggerty, would have given it to charity otherwise.

9:58 John Haggerty was our representative to the IP to have them provide ballot security

9:57 Bloomberg says he would not have approved of donation to Independence Party if they weren’t going to do ballot security.

9:55 Bloomberg said he was told by Kevin Sheekey and Patti Harris that John Haggerty would be in charge of ballot security. “It is traditional, I am told, to provide ballot security…” Says he relied on Harris to work out details of ballot security

9:54 Bloomberg seems subdued, sad, and a slightly irritated.

9:53: Self-financed campaign because didn’t want anybody to say that he was influenced by campaign donations

9:52 Bloomberg is on the stand and has just been sworn in, explains that he lives in “Manhattan County.”

9:50: We are live here at a packed courthouse in Lower Manhattan for the trial of political operative John Haggerty who stands accused of stealing over $1 million from Mayor Mike Bloomberg during the 2009 mayoral campaign.

Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    “The Truth” and nothing but “The Truth”  and Only” the jury can decided it.

    The rest of us will have to read the news reports and the blooging,

    Before there was the “Oracle at Delphi” there was Count Vampire J. Machiavelli

    VJ Machiavelli
    The Legislative Budget is Too Damn High