Malcolm Smith still doesn’t think he deserves jail time
By Lia Eustachewich
October 6, 2016
Ex-state Sen. Malcolm Smith is the latest crooked politician to appeal his conviction in light of a recent Supreme Court ruling tied to public-corruption cases.
Smith’s lawyer, Marc Fernich, argued in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday that Smith shouldn’t have been convicted because he only set up meetings in exchange for kickbacks, which doesn’t constitute bribery under the Supreme Court’s ruling in ex-Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell’s case.
“This was a key defense theme throughout the case, that all he did was set up meetings,” Fernich told the three-judge panel.
The country’s highest court recently overturned McDonnell’s conviction, ruling that what he was accused of did not constitute bribery.
The Second Circuit court did not rule in Smith’s case, nor in that of convicted ex-Queens Republican Vice-Chair Vincent Tabone, who also argued an appeal before the panel Thursday.
Tabone — who was tried with Smith for plotting to rig the 2013 mayoral election by getting Smith on the ticket — claims he didn’t have a “fiduciary duty” to his party that would’ve barred him from accepting bribes from Smith.
Smith is currently serving a seven-year sentence, while Tabone got 3 ¹/₂ years.
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