State Senator Malcolm Smith wants to delay his trial on corruption charges until his re-election race is over.
The Queens Democrat's attorney asked a federal judge to wait until this year's primary date is set, then schedule the trial afterward.
He said Smith should run for office "unfettered."
The prosecution, however, says that voters would be better served with a verdict before the election.
From the NY Post:
A bill introduced by Brooklyn Assemblyman Nick Perry would make it illegal for corrupt politicians to use campaign cash to pay legal bills.
Under the measure introduced last week, elected officials wouldn’t be able to access donor funds if they’re indicted, charged or convicted of a crime, or if they resign as a result of violating state ethics law. Cash remaining in their campaign accounts would be forfeited to the state comptroller’s office, which would issue refunds to contributors.
Currently, lawmakers are able to take money from their campaign coffers and use it on high-priced lawyers to keep them out of the clink.
Former state Sen. Carl Kruger, who represented Mill Basin in Brooklyn, was sentenced to prison in April 2012 after taking bribes to steer $900,000 in taxpayer money to nonprofits. He used $1.5 million
from his campaign account to pay legal bills.
Former Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno also shelled out about $1.5 million in donor cash to combat federal corruption charges.
Like all campaign-reform proposals, however, the bill faces hurdles in Albany.