Bribery Trial of Legislator Starts in Brooklyn
Jury selection began Monday in the trial of State Assemblywoman Diane M. Gordon of Brooklyn, who is charged with arranging to receive a bribe from a developer.
Prosecutors say that Ms. Gordon, a Democrat from East New York, offered to help the developer acquire city-owned land in return for a new half-million-dollar home in Queens.
Ms. Gordon, 57, was elected to the Assembly in 2000. Her indictment in July 2006 did not prevent her from winning re-election to a fourth term that year. She would face 5 to 15 years in prison if convicted of the top count, bribe-receiving in the second degree. She has pleaded not guilty. Her trial, before Justice Robert C. McGann in State Supreme Court in Brooklyn, is expected to last four to six weeks.
According to prosecutors, Ms. Gordon met six times in her district office in 2004 and 2005 with a developer who wore a concealed camera. At the meetings, prosecutors said, Ms. Gordon promised to help the developer secure a tract of vacant city-owned land in her district valued at $2 million if he built a single-family home to her specifications in Queens.
Ms. Gordon’s lawyer, Bernard H. Udell, declined to discuss his defense strategy Monday.
“You’ll have to stick around for the trial to see,” he said.