I think attorney Cheryl Coleman summed up voter fraud nicely when on Talk 1300 Sunday she compared it to a hypothetical murder case: “Why would you make a deal with the shooter to get the cab driver who waited outside the bank.”
Given that’s how the whole thing went down – evidenced by the fact former City Clerk Bill McInerney got on the stand and admitted to forging scores of Working Families Party absentee ballot and absentee ballot applications for the 2009 primary – I can see why former Councilman John Brown is upset by the fact he is the only one implicated in the scheme going to jail.
Late last year, Brown appealed his six-month sentence imposed by Judge George Pulver claiming it was harsh and excessive. Thing is, he waived his right to appeal when he pleaded guilty to possessing one forged ballot as part of the deal. Recently the prosecutor in the case, Trey Smith, replied to the appeal and the Appellate Division will rule one way or another.
As a kicker, as nothing is simple when talking about voter fraud, Brown also perjured himself in front of the Grand Jury so six months in jail to satisfy two felonies – plus who knows how many others he could have been charged with – so six months isn’t really harsh or excessive and he agreed to it. I’d be shocked if the court intervened in this one.
Of course, after seeing how everything else unfolded, with everyone who contested the charges getting off and the other three who pleaded guilty not looking at jail time, Brown is having second thoughts. Who can blame him for not wanting to go to jail while others are not?
McInerney admitted to doing far worse things than Brown but as Coleman said, McInerney was the first in line to cut a deal with Smith and Smith needed someone to spill the beans on Board of Elections Commissioner Ed McDonough and her client former Councilman Michael LoPorto.
But McInerney, who as part of his deal had to spend some time working on the Sheriff’s work order program picking up garbage or what not, was hardly the star witness Smith needed to convict McDonough or LoPorto. He admitted to committing the forgeries, but didn’t point the finger at anyone but himself, and he didn’t do that until he was granted a level of immunity that far outweighed the crimes he admitted to committing.
There are all sorts of conspiracy theories kicking around and one includes that Smith engaged in “selective prosecution” by going after McDonough, who is represented by attorney Brian Premo, and LoPorto instead of McInerney and those higher up in the Democratic Party who may or may not told him what to do in order to steal the WFP line for their candidates. It may or may not be true, but believing Smith was in the tank through all that voter fraud encompassed throughout the five-year ordeal is a tough concept to grasp and an even harder to prove.
That’s the bottom line. I don’t see a grand conspiracy. I see a bunch of guys who desperately wanted to win the election – including Brown who was angling for Council president – wanted the WFP line that was routinely stolen by the GOP, had no idea how to go about it and the one who headed up their campaigns in the hopes of keeping his job or getting a better one – McInerney - ended up forging about everything in sight.
And then there was the less than stellar effort to prosecute them and in the end, McInerney was the proverbial shooter in Coleman’s analogy … and everyone else was driving the cab.
Send all the crooks to jail for at least 10 years, including of course Gary Galuski. It is a sad state of affairs when the main perp, Anthony was let off with a slap on his butt.ReplyDelete
Renna. Mcgrath and Mac. 3 f in crooksDelete
are we still harping about voter fraud? jesus Crist!ReplyDelete
The question is, why would Smith give McInerney such a sweetheart deal without confirming he had the goods on LoPorto or McDonough? Wasn't there a proffer?ReplyDelete
If McInerney could have directly implicated LoPorto and/or McDonough in felonies, I can see why Smith would want to pursue a council candidate and BOE Commissioner over a city clerk. But McInerney couldn't (or didn't). So why did he get such a good deal?
The Smith-McNally-McInerney triangle!Delete
This article is dead wrong. You fail to mention it was Kevin McGrath who got caught by Mirch and Crawley with the first fraudulent ballot. It was after Mirch hired an investigator that all the other ballots were discovered. McGrath was the first one in and cooperated against McInerey and Brown(s). Who was the shooter?ReplyDelete
The funny part about this entire affair is that the smartest person of the group was the one who got the stiffest sentence.This entire mess was the result of a lack of leadership in the democratic party. If there was a leader he or she would have pointed out that the WFP line was insignificant. They would have won easily without it. Instead each person adopted a mob mentality and did very stupid things.ReplyDelete
Thank you 2;43 PM for the clarification. Kevin McGrath threw everyone under the bus in exchange for a free pass for himself and rick Mason. Ironically, it is not the first time McGrath has ratted out his colleagues and walked away to strut arrogantly again.ReplyDelete
He does it for the kids.Delete
To all you people that said John Brown stepped up like a man and took his punishment. Ha Ha Ha he's the little weasel we all knew he was. Sneaky little ballot stuffer. Be a man and take a page out of Macinerny book. Get your ass in jail and do what you said you would for once.ReplyDelete
Right, Kevin. Because you're such a shining example of how to be a man.Delete
McInerney was just the hammer. Brown and McGrath swung it. LoPorto and the rest are just tools, but guilty none the less.ReplyDelete
six months in jail for two felonies...........excessive!...........and I thought john brown and his puny brother were tough guys like daddy brown.ReplyDelete
Its all in the lawyer that represents the defendent. Brown had a shitty lawyer. Stek was a Yale graduate. Come on man!ReplyDelete