Smith told to resign amid bribery charges
Colleagues of state Sen. Malcolm Smith called on the indicted pol to resign after getting charged with bribery Tuesday.
Smith, a Democrat who represents southeast Queens, is accused of paying Republican Councilman Dan Halloran to set up meetings with city GOP officials in order to run on the party’s line in this fall’s mayoral election.
State Sen. Daniel Squadron, a Brooklyn Democrat, called on Smith to resign, likening the accusations to the intrigue on Netflix’s political drama, “House of Cards.”
“Regardless of the outcome of the criminal charges filed against Senator Smith, he has lost the public trust,” he said.
State Sen. Jeff Klein, the leader of the Senate’s Independent Democratic Conference, echoed similar statements as he stripped Smith of his committee assignments and Senate-leadership position Tuesday.
“I believe that Senator Smith should seriously consider whether he can continue to effectively serve his constituents,” Klein said.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he hopes Smith complies with the federal probe, adding that New York has “zero tolerance” for breaching the public's trust.
“I hope the investigation is thorough and speedy and gets to the facts, but it is very, very troubling,” he told reporters.
The federal investigation that netted the Queens pols also ensnared two Republican Party officials, Vincent Tabone of Queens and Bronx party chair Jay Savino, who were accused of soliciting $80,000 to facilitate Smith's mayoral ambitions.
In Smith's southeast Queens district, constituents reacted to news of the indictment with both shock and shrugs.
Ludy Napoleon ,42, said the charges were surprising considering Smith’s reputation in the neighborhood.
“He's really good. He puts himself out there in the community,” she said outside of Smith's district office.
Carl Greene, a 64-year-old physician from Jamaica, believed Smith’s alleged actions were widespread in politics, but he was caught because of a “super microscope” trained on the black community.
His advice to politicians: “You have to know who your friends and enemies are.”