« New York Islanders/MSG Just Happen To Interview Brooklyn Barclays Center Developer Bruce Ratner | Main | 57th Assembly candidate Mosley criticizes broken Atlantic Yards promises, "toothless" CBA (but last November saluted CBA signatory BUILD and Forest City Ratner) »

March 16, 2012

Yonkers trial update: defendant Jereis testifies, denies bribes, asserts unrequited love; witness says he helped Jereis with reports to Forest City because consultant "not so good" with computers

Atlantic Yards Report

The mystery of Ridge Hill took a new twist yesterday in federal court as the lawyer for defendant Sandy Annabi, former Yonkers Council Member, rested the defense without having Annabi take the stand and explain why she accepted money from co-defendant Zehy Jereis, her campaign manager and political mentor, and whether it affected her vote switch on two projects, including Forest City Ratner's retail/residential project.

But Jereis did take the stand, and delivered soap-opera style revelations that the $174,000 he transferred to Annabi was all because of love, not any intention to control her politically and steer her votes, as prosecutors allege, based on circumstantial evidence in the case of Ridge Hill and the testimony of a flawed witness, disbarred attorney and admitted felon Anthony Mangone, in the case of the other project, Longfellow.

And Jereis emphatically denied getting any money from Mangone, as well as passing on any such money to Annabi, whose attorney says she changed her votes based on concessions by the developers.

Jereis's lawyer, Anthony Siano, had not telegraphed the likelihood Jereis would testify. But in retrospect, it was inevitable, given that Jereis's appearance would be the only way to get into evidence email messages to Annabi he allegedly sent.

article

Related coverage...

The Journal News, Zehy Jereis: Love for Sandy Annabi led to gifts; read his emails

The Journal News, Zehy Jereis' emails profess love for Sandy Annabi

The New York Times, Man Says Gifts to Lawmaker Were for Love

New York Magazine, Yonkers Corruption Defense: It Was About Love, Not Money

Posted by eric at March 16, 2012 2:27 PM