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Former City Councilman Daniel Halloran Gets 10 Years In Prison

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Daniel Halloran, a former New York City councilman who was convicted of helping another politician buy a spot on the 2013 mayoral ballot, was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in prison.

Halloran, a Republican who represented the 19th District in Queens, was found guilty last year of bribery and fraud by a federal jury that deliberated just 90 minutes.

The scheme involved bribing Republican party leaders so state Sen. Malcolm Smith, a Democrat, could run for the GOP line in the 2013 New York City mayoral race.

Smith, who lost his state Senate seat after his indictment, was convicted last month and is to be sentenced in July. Three others who were indicted with Halloran have also been convicted or pleaded guilty.

Smith needed the approval of at least three top New York City Republican Party leaders to run for the GOP line. Prosecutors said Halloran, 42, negotiated the bribes and took more than $15,000 himself.

He was also convicted of taking $15,000 from what he thought were suburban developers who wanted him to funnel city money their way. The men were actually working for the FBI.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said Wednesday that elected officials like Halloran ``undermine the public's confidence in a representative form of government.''

Halloran admitted taking money but said it was legitimate, for work as a political operative.

``It's regrettable this is the way politics works, but it's not illegal,'' Halloran said. The defense said he ``never crossed the line'' into crime.

Just before he went on trial, Halloran tried to raise an insanity defense, based on brain surgery he underwent in 2012 to remove a benign tumor. The judge said there wasn't enough supporting evidence.

During trial, Halloran was on the witness stand for six days testifying in his own defense.

Halloran, 42, was elected to the City Council in 2009. After his indictment, he also got into a scrape amid reports that he dated two of his staffers – reportedly including a 23-yearr-old intern.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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