Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Bloomberg not immune to questions in court
From the Daily News:
Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Ronald Zweibel said jury selection -- which was expected to start today -- will open next Monday.
The rulings came after defense lawyers for John Haggerty, a GOP consultant accused of stealing $1.1 million from the mayor during his successful 2009 re-election campaign, argued they must be allowed to defend their client -- and could argue that Bloomberg side-stepped campaign finance rules.
"We too want to focus the trial, but we have a right to a defense in this case," Raymond Castello, one of Haggerty's lawyers, told the judge.
Prosecutors argued the focus should be kept on Haggerty -- and not be allowed to shift to the alleged victim.
"This case has a great potential to spin out of control. John Haggerty is on trial here. We've seen trials get out of control sometimes," Assistant District Attorney Eric Seidel said.
The judge refused to limit the questioning.
"I'm going to deny this motion ... without prejudice," Zweibel said. "I'm going to decide relevance [of testimony] during the trial."
Castello said that what Bloomberg understood about Byzantine campaign finance rules, which are expected to take center stage at the trial, is "very relevant" to the case.