From the Village Voice:
...right up to that fateful election day, John Haggerty Jr. had worked his heart out for the Bloomberg cause with no apparent payment by the most generous political candidate in municipal history. Other top officials of Team Bloomberg scored the biggest paydays of their lives. Haggerty worked for free—at least as far as filings show. Yet his tasks were just as crucial, if not more so. He played the leading role in persuading five cranky Republican county leaders to get over their hurt feelings and give Bloomberg their nomination, even though the mayor had jilted them two years earlier by quitting their party. Take a look at those photos of Bloomberg's pre-nomination meetings in which he pleaded with GOP officials to let bygones be bygones. There's John Haggerty, quietly at his side.
Without the GOP nod, Bloomberg would've been forced to slog it out as a third-party candidate against an African-American Democrat on his left and a Republican spoiler on his right. We know how that would have turned out: Even with the GOP in line, Bloomberg managed only a 4 percent win, despite spending more than $108 million. We'd be talking today about Mayor William C. Thompson. That seems like reason enough to want to throw Haggerty a million bucks worth of thank-yous.
"John was responsible for the mayor's election," says Tom Ognibene, the former Queens Republican Councilmember. "Without the Republican line, he was not getting re-elected."
...the reason Bloomberg never cried thief last year is because there was no harm and no foul. "John got this money funneled to him," he says. "That's why there was no complaint filed. He never took a penny. He could've been making hundreds of thousands of dollars. This was John's bonus."
Then there's Bloomberg's own curious performance in all this. Vance says that he's had complete cooperation from the mayor and his campaign, and that neither are targets. For that, Bloomberg can thank the state's election laws, which are murkier than a Louisiana oil slick.
By routing it through his own checking account, the mayor guaranteed that it would stay secret until mid-January, the party's next required public filing. That much of the scheme Haggerty was clearly involved in. In a note to Bloomberg's campaign staff cited in Vance's legal papers, Haggerty wrote that the payment for the operation should be funded with "a Housekeeping contribution that will not be reported until January 15, 2010."
From the Times Ledger:
Queens Republican Party Chairman Phil Ragusa said he tried to dissuade Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s re-election campaign last year from dealing with GOP operative and Forest Hills resident John Haggerty Jr., who was indicted earlier this month on allegations he stole $1.1 million of the mayor’s money and lied to Bloomberg that the money would go to poll watching and ballot security operations.
“I warned Bloomberg before this happened,” Ragusa said in a phone interview Monday, saying he was “saddened and surprised” by the indictment against Haggerty, who along with brother Bart have been warring with Ragusa over control of the Queens GOP.
Ragusa said he did not want to take satisfaction from the indictment against his rival.
“I don’t want to revel in someone else’s problems if he did it, and the evidence seems overwhelming ... he’s going to have his day in court, right?” Ragusa said.
“I am the chairman of Queens,” he said. “They should’ve run the campaign through the different counties, not through political operatives. We never saw any of Bloomberg’s people out on the street. He should have come to us and let the Haggertys go someplace else.”