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February 3, 2011

Jereis, Annabi corruption trial set for June

The Journal News
by Timothy O'Connor

A federal judge has set a June 20 trial date for the two remaining defendants in the Yonkers public-corruption case connected to the $600 million Ridge Hill development.

U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon set the trial date for jury selection in Manhattan in the case against former Yonkers Democratic City Councilwoman Sandy Annabi and former Yonkers GOP Chairman Zehy Jereis.

They are accused of conspiring to sell her voteon the controversial Ridge Hill development, a massive mixed-use complex now under construction.

Annabi and Jereis were indicted in January 2010 along with politically connected lawyer Anthony Mangone in the case. It also was alleged that Annabi's vote was for sale in the lower-profile Longfellow School redevelopment in Yonkers.

Mangone pleaded guilty Nov. 29, saying he paid Jereis tens of thousands of dollars that he thought was supposed to go to Annabi to change her vote in favor of the Longfellow project. Mangone represented the developer in the proposal, Milio Management. The project never got off the ground.

Federal prosecutors accuse Annabi of switching her vote on Ridge Hill at the behest of Jereis.

Annabi had opposed the development, even joining a lawsuit filed by other council members to block the development. But she changed her vote July 11, 2006, casting the decisive vote in favor of the project.

That came after Jereis arranged a meeting with representatives of the developer, Forest City Ratner, and Annabi, prosecutors said.

Jereis, who is alleged to have paid Annabi more than $160,000 in bribes over several years, received a $60,000 consulting job with the developer after Annabi changed her vote, federal prosecutors said.

Annabi and Jereis have denied the charges.


NoLandGrab: Sure, Jereis may just be a dummy, since a $60,000 consulting gig doesn't begin to cover $160,000 in bribes. But something tells us there's more to this story, and this ought to be one very entertaining trial. Stay tuned for June 20th.

Posted by eric at February 3, 2011 10:39 PM