Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Jury to begin fourth day of deliberations in Yonkers trial

After three days--not quite full days, since yesterday ended at 2:30 pm--a federal jury is still weighing corruption charges against former Yonkers City Council Member Sandy Annabi and her political mentor, Zehy Jereis.

As noted by the Journal News, the jury yesterday "asked today for the testimony of Jereis and former co-defendant Anthony Mangone, who claimed to have passed along a $20,000 bribe to Jereis in 2006 to influence Annabi's vote on the Longfellow housing project in her district."

There was no such claimed bribe regarding Forest City Ratner's Ridge Hill project, but prosecutors argued that the stream of payments from Jereis over seven years induced Annabi to vote as he wished. Defense attorneys pointed to the absence of any agreement to do so, and argued that Annabi changed her vote because of concessions.

On Monday, Hezi Aris of the Yonkers Tribune described what could be gleaned by courtroom observers:
Shouting matches that seemed to give rise from passionate retelling of events and diminution of opposite minded juror's perspectives espoused broke the decibel level often times in the late morning into the mid afternoon, subsiding after 3:00 p.m., or so. While the expressions were loud, they were not discernible. No inference could be deduced.
As I wrote, there was a Rashomon-like aspect to the case, with the Jereis's gifts to Annabi portrayed as evidence of infatuation and evidence of influence.



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