Friday, December 9, 2011

Smooth Sailing

A mistrial was declared Friday in the corruption trial of City Councilman Larry Seabrook.

“We the jurors remain deadlocked on all counts,” Jury foreman Frank DiBrino wrote in an earlier note on Thursday afternoon, according to the Wall Street Journal. “Many of the jurors need to return to work Monday due to financial hardships as well as hardships to their employers.”

The jury, which deliberated in Federal District Court in Manhattan for over a week for a trial that took three weeks, told the judge, Robert P. Patterson Jr., in a note late on Thursday that it remained deadlocked on all 12 counts in the indictment.

Seabrook was infamously charged with doctoring a receipt for a $7 bagel and beverage to $177, but defense lawyers for the career politician said the receipt didn't have Seabrook's name on it and no proof could be made that it was his handwriting.

Shortly before 3 p.m. Friday, jurors distributed another note that the judge read aloud in court, the New York Times reported. “We the jury have continued to deliberate and looked at additional evidence,” the note said. “However, we remain deadlocked on all counts and it appears we will remain deadlocked."

Prosecutors now must decide if they wish to seek another trial.

The counts against Seabrook included fraud, conspiracy, money laundering and other charges. He was accused of steering money to family and friends through non-profits he set up and also of receiving illegal kickbacks for helping a Bronx-based boiler company land a contract at Yankee Stadium. Had he been convicted, he would have faced up to 20 years in prison on each of a number of the charges, and would have lost his Council seat.

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