Former NYC Councilman Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Bribery Scheme

Daniel Halloran kicking off his bid for Congress in 2012. (Photo: Colin Campbell/New York Observer)

Daniel Halloran kicking off his bid for Congress in 2012. (Photo: Colin Campbell/New York Observer)

Dan Halloran, a former Queens councilman, was sentenced to a whopping 10 years in prison for his role in a 2013 bribery scheme that attempted to shake up the New York City mayoral race.

Mr. Halloran, a Republican, was found guilty last year in connection with his role in arranging the bribery of city Republican leaders to allow former State Senator Malcolm Smith, a Queens Democrat, to run as a Republican candidate for mayor. Mr. Halloran was charged with accepting a $15,000 cash bribe in exchange for designating up to $80,000 in public funds to a nonprofit entity that would allow the money to be embezzled through a no-show job.

“When elected officials, like Daniel Halloran, not only corrupt themselves but, unseen, corrupt the body politic from within they undermine the public’s confidence in a representative form of government,” said U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in a statement.

Mr. Halloran, along with Mr. Smith and a Queens Republican official, Vincent Tabone, were all found guilty in connection with the bribery scheme. Mr. Halloran, a colorful one-term councilman, tried to fight the charges, even claiming at one point that a brain tumor impaired his ability to reason properly.

An outspoken libertarian and pagan, Mr. Halloran was once regarded as a rising star in Republican circles. In 2012 he unsuccessfully challenged Democrat Grace Meng, now a congresswoman, for an open House seat in Queens. After his 2013 indictment, he chose not to seek re-election.

Mr. Halloran seized plenty of headlines during his single term. In addition to revelations that he practiced an obscure brand of Neo-Paganism (he was raised Catholic), Mr. Halloran endeared himself to constituents by cursing out the owner of a noisy car dealership in his district and won some fans for his karaoke skills. Mr. Halloran was also a frequent critic of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who ran as a Republican for mayor.

Mr. Halloran could not be reached for comment.

Former NYC Councilman Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Bribery Scheme