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Halloran Faces Investigation From Own City Council Colleagues

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Already hit with criminal charges alleging that he took bribes in a federal corruption case, New York City Councilman Daniel Halloran (R-19th) is now facing an investigation by his own colleagues.

The Council's Standards and Ethics Committee voted Tuesday to open an investigation into allegations that Halloran accepted payoffs in exchange for promising to allocate a company up to $80,000 in council money for his district.

The charges are part of the federal case. The committee's probe has been placed on hold while the case plays out.

Federal prosecutors said Halloran helped arrange bribes to buy a waiver for state Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Queens), so that Smith could run as a Republican despite being a Democrat. Smith allegedly wanted to rig the 2013 mayoral race.

The Smith scandal was among the cases that led Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday to unveil a package of reforms aimed at rooting out corruption in state government. Cuomo said the current state anti-corruption laws are "obsolete" and has proposed the "Public Trust Act," which among other things, would give district attorneys around the state more power to hold elected officials accountable.

Through an attorney, Halloran has denied those and other allegations.

As for the council's probe, a Halloran spokesman said anything that will help him clear his name and bring out the truth is a good thing.

Halloran been stripped of his authority to allocate money for his district.

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(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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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