The Hezitorial: Prosecution Rests Without Going the Distance in Yonkers Corruption and Bribery Case By HEZI ARIS

eHezi Archives 18 Comments

Moynihan Feder CourtThe corruption and bribery charges against Sandy Annabi, former Yonkers City Councilwoman, and Zehy Jereis, former Yonkers GOP Chairman, were met with lust for blood by some, and questioned as being circumstantial by others. Either way, the prosecution, the United States of America, was expected to have all guns blazing in the case that came to rest yesterday (March 21, 2012), in the courtroom presided over by the Hon. Colleen McMahon, District Judge, after five weeks of testimony. The jury was charged with eleven total counts, which were at times shared allegations by both defendants, and others that were accusative of one, but not the other. Judge McMahon’s charge would consume three hours in studied and meticulous expression of the law to the jury. The task before the jury of twelve and four alternates is daunting. The charges are complex, and at times not easily contemplated. Many requests for further explanation are likely to ensue in the coming days of deliberation. While the jury is sequestered behind closed doors, we can consider some issues that question the value of this case and others that may likely follow in the wake of the government’s effort to excise corruption and bribery from governance and politics.

The heart of the government’s contention is that there was no reciprocal affection between Ms Annabi and Mr Jereis. When forensic computer expert Shlomo Koenig took the stand earlier this week he would explain that FBI agents who were first to scrutinize the hard drive of Mr Jereis’ computer, had clumsily destroyed evidence that would have left a trail for Mr Koenig to have followed to a conclusion of who, when, and where, had tampered with the said emails. Instead, he was left to contemplate one scenario or another, all circumstantial. The government believed that was as far as they needed to go. Their effort was seemingly “good enough!”

One must ask why the government did not get a subpoena from a federal judge to grant it permission to retrieve all the email correspondence between Mr Jereis and Ms Annabi from AOL, the email server and service to which both defendants have subscribed. Subpoena of AOL for the records of the allegedly unrequited love attested to by Mr Jereis, and to which his legal counsel, Anthony Siano asserted, was a logical next step that the government did not take. Why?

Also to be questioned is the assertion made by Mr Jereis when he stated he and Ms Annabi did not engage in sexual intercourse. Yet in the next breath, Mr Jereis noted that there was however “sexual contact.” Was Mr Jereis’ mention of “sexual contact” the voice of the male ego speaking or reminiscent of conduct described by William Jefferson Clinton, former U.S. President, in defining his term of “sexual conduct” over a decade ago?

When the government had the opportunity to cross examine Mr Jereis, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Halperin, made mention of Mr Jereis’ claim of his earlier testimony in which he made mention there was no “sexual contact” between Ms Annabi and himself, but he noted the that there was “sexual contact.” Mr Halperin during his question of Mr Jereis divulged he did not want a definition for the term, “sexual contact.”  Mr Halperin moved on. At issue here is why Mr Halperin did not demand Mr Jereis define the term “sexual conduct.” Had he done so, Mr Halperin could have proven “quid pro quo,” that is, “something for another,” or money and other gifts for “sexual contact,” but Mr Halperin did not.

When FBI Agent Michael Mazucca took the stand, he was asked if/when he was aware that both Antonio and Franco Milio, the owners of Milio Management – Yonkers developers who were at one time engaged in seeking designation as master developers for the Longfellow/Walgreens project –  were vacationing in Mexico when Anthony Mangone, a government witness surrounded by allegations of bribery and corruption, claims that he received $30,000 in cash from the Milio’s for the purpose of bribing Ms Annabi to approve the Milio’s master developer status designation for the Longfellow/Walgreens project.

Agent Mazucca acknowledged he had indeed learned from defendant testimony that Homeland Security documents had proven Antonio and Franco Milio were in Mexico at the time Mr Mangone claimed he received cash from them. Mr Siano questioned Agent Mazucca, asking if upon learning of the fact garnered from Homeland Security records, Agent Mazzuca had questioned Mr Mangone about the veracity of his testimony to the FBI after Mr Mangone signed an agreement accepting a deal with the government to tell the truth, and nothing but the truth? Agent Manzucca was reluctant to offer his contact with Mr Mangone at first, but with the slightest verbal nudge, Mr Siano had Agent Manzucca admit that he had contacted Mr Mangone, but as Agent Manzucca emphasized, it was on another matter. It was not as suggested by Mr Siano with regard to Mr Mangone perjuring himself once again in testimony before the august chambers of a court.

What is striking about this exchange is that an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation had not questioned its own witness as to the veracity of its claim when Homeland Security had proven Mr Mangone’s testimony to be false. Why? Worse still, the government chose to be silent on this issue for over a week’s time perhaps in the hope that the issue would not rear itself again. Bad move. Mr Siano had no lapse in focusing attention on this issue again.

One must question if the government would have been willing to imprison the defendants on a falsehood of fact despite their becoming knowledgeable of the fact that put into question the veracity of their star witness, Anthony Mangone, about whom much of their case revolves.

The largesse of gifts and loans bestowed upon Ms Annabi by Mr Jereis from 2001 to 2008 is said to have surpassed $200,000. The government asserts this interchange was imposed by Mr Jereis solely for the purpose of exacting a political favor, that is, a vote for, or any action required, to impact the political demeanor or conclusion over which Ms Annabi would have purview. The government’s assertion is that Ms Annabi, when she voted contrary to previous votes or changed her demeanor or tone over any specific project, is sufficient to prove she was Mr Jereis’ political puppet. Mr Jereis advises he only wanted her “body,” and did not seek to malign or coerce her vote. Mr Jereis asserts he had no influence on her votes.

The destination and purpose of the money, gifts and loans to and through Ms Annabi lack proof or purpose in the conclusion offered by the government. The government asserts they have backtracked and returned to the origins of the financial paradigm before them. In reality there is another more credible scenario that can be drawn from the money, gifts and loans funneled as they were. The government has proven it is unaware of the various methodologies to launder funds. Perhaps the Milio’s can  afford them lessons worthy of their knowing.

When Mr Kevin Cacace, president of the Yonkers Chamber of Commerce, attests that he hired Mr Jereis at the behest Nick Spano, expecting to receive a grant from then Senator Nick Spano to pay for Mr Jereis’ services, neither Mr Cacace, nor former Yonkers Mayor and present Yonkers Chamber of Commerce Board Director Angelo Martinelli complained about taking on Mr Jereis. They chose to complain before the court for not receiving a grant to pay for Mr Jereis. Mssrs Cacace and Martinelli never uttered a complaint before their day in in a courtroom to which they were subpoenaed. Are they attempting to rewrite the annals of history as they would like it remembered? Mr Cacace is driven by agenda, Mr Martinelli is one of the puppet masters. Neither is credible. They have not told the truth.

Former Yonkers City Councilman Dennis Robertson attests that he knew many things about Mr Jereis, Ms Annabi, among others, in Yonkers government. His testimony is also suspect because he never wrote or spoke to the so-called wrongdoings of others. He has his own issues and contracts to be concerned about. He is not a credible witness. He is a Democratic Party operative that worked both sides of the aisle then, and continues to do so to this day.

Former Mayor Phil Amicone was not called to testify, why not? The buck stopped at his office. Why was Nick Spano not asked to testify before the court?

Former Yonkers City Councilwoman Dee Barbato and Councilman John Murtagh, Esq., are not credible witnesses. Mr Lunney, a former law partner of Mr Murtagh, now retired, asserted under oath that he had to undergo a three year effort to dissolve his and Mr Murtagh’s legal relationship because Mr Lunney asserts Mr Murtagh’s conduct was anathema to the demands and protocol of the law with regard to client funds, among other concerns.

Ms Barbato has been fork-tongued over many issues, including Ridge Hill, in which she espoused one thing, but did something else. Under her watch she did not mitigate the traffic issues, or much of anything else. She never walked the walk, but she was good talking the talk. Simply the best, Dee Barbato. None of these characters are credible. Neither Mr Murtagh nor Ms Barbato spoke to the issues about which they would ever move the city toward remedy and mitigation. More talk. They used their office to further themselves with contracts, and patronage for themselves and relatives. They were and are part of the problem.

Senator Joe Libous was not called to testify to corroborate the assertion made by Anthony Mangone that the senator demanded Mr Mangone’s law firm hire his son Matt Libous, Esq., as legal counsel to the tune of $150,000 per annum plus the lease of a Land Rover SUV nor further the accusation that Senator Libous suggested Mr Mangone bill a dummy corporation to the tune of $50,000 per annum to lighten the financial burden of employing his son Matt. Why?

Should Mr Jereis and Ms Annabi be judged deserving of imprisonment, by a jury of their peers, the Yonkers cabal of not having the “truth” revealed by keeping mum about it, will have saved their skin once again. They will have won. The City of Yonkers will have again lost to the connivance of those who still pull the strings of the circus of deceit by deflecting attention from the issues that matter to the pandering escapades and crotch shots that tickle the fancy of those who continue to maintain a veil of secrecy of the other Yonkers, to which Yonkersites are not permitted access, and to which Yonkersites are thereby unaware and worse still, are incredulous, that anyone should or would suggest otherwise. Witness the response of former Mayor Amicone a partner to the Brio Restaurant franchise that opened over the past two weeks in Ridge Hill.

Mr Jereis and Ms Annabi are no more than pawns in an opaque tapestry of deceit meant only to beguile Yonkersites and those who dare look within its borders in their feeble attempt to find decorum in governance, law, and civility. 


eHeziThe Hezitorial: Prosecution Rests Without Going the Distance in Yonkers Corruption and Bribery Case By HEZI ARIS

Comments 18

  1. Sorry Doughboy dumbass but I never worked for any administration. Pointing out the sellouts and spineless pathetic @ss lickers who “lead” the Yonkers Republican Party. The executive board is a joke and half the ward leaders ars Spanoites. Time is up boys and girls. The district leader races next year will be for real and the leadership will change.

  2. boy you guys are bitter sounds like you guys got fired by the mayor just a s good you guys are a bunch of cry baby s that wouldnt last in this admin any way

  3. The crystal clarity with which you described the “Yonkers Republicans” is perfect. The Spano-ite Republicans are no better than the welfare recipients who wait for the first of the month to get there rent, food and now birth control paid for by the taxpayers of this country. Mostly pathetic is Spencer crawling back to “dumb and dumber” (as he himself put it)for a job for his second wife who was first his “Baby Mamma.” Pathetic Yonkers Republicans, Jacono must go!!!

  4. Turncoat Republicans cast their lot
    Former Republican Party leader
    Jeris’ wife – works in the Spano administration
    Former Republican City Councilman
    Liam’s wife – works in the Spano administration
    Former Republican Mayor
    Spencer’s wife- works in the Spano administration
    Current Republican Party leader
    Jacono – on transition and awaiting a job or appointment
    Current Republican District leader
    Pepe – appointed to Ethics board (used to work for Mike Spano)
    RINO Legislator Spreckman
    Appointed to Senior board (lets keep an eye on stipends)
    Take a look at the roster of Yonkers Republican leadership. It is pocked with people loyal first to the Spanos second to the Party and lastly to principles.
    The battle for the heart and soul of what is left of this party will take place next year.
    All the Spano firsters will be exposed and defeated.
    Enough is enough!!

  5. Are you “doughboy” or “doughbrain”?
    The issue is not the right to work.
    The issue is Mike Spano’s connection to Zehy Jeries, his brother, Al Pirro, Anthony Mangone and the rest of the crooks.
    Having a member of Zehy’s family front and center in the Mayor’s office is a disgrace.

  6. Hezi,
    Why is it that in light of the emormitiy of the Yonkers corruption trial, you (and the Spano broadcasting network News12) fail to report that Zeah Jeris’ wife works for Mike Spano? Zeah benefits greatly from those benefits. Where is your objectivety? Answer: It doesn’t exist. Yeah, you’re to be trusted with reporting truth.
    Your silence is deafening.

  7. Hezi why is it that you report every hiring in the new Mayor’s office, most recently the appointments of Nancy Manzino, Philip Pepe & Philip Zisman, but fail to report on the hiring of Kathy Spring to Mike Spano’s office?
    There were numerous comments begging you for such a story but still nothing? Silenced by your benefactors?
    I asked this question of Yonekrs City Hall over 1 month ago. They did not aford me an answer. I asked again when I located her place of employment a few days before the News 12 Report but AGAIN did not get a response from the Communications Director. I then got an email on the day of the News 12 report before 1 pm. It was on the day I was in Manhattan covering the corruption trial. No problem.
    There is also no need to repeat this old news story over and over again. If you don’t believe it is appropriate take it up with City Hall. I now know how Mayor Mike Spano’s staff is handling it. I don’t believe this is a directive by the mayor himself.
    And so the stomach turns.
    P.S. I hope you can handle it. I know I can.

  8. Anon, Yonkers and those within it’s corrupt boundaries are the ones that give Yonkers a bad name. Those who expose it do so to make it a better place to live and escape it’s mobster past.
    Whether it’s a no show election like the Mayer one or developers paying off the building inspectors in “tips” as expressed in the corruption trial, or the long list of connected developers having their way with the taxpayer, or the illegal 2 & 3 family houses, all allowed to flourish with the knowledge of every city dept. and politician, the gasboy scandal, padding overtime, selling salt, selling land and property for a dollar, one could go on for ever, but these actions or lack thereof create the image of corruption.
    You can blog all night and day from City hall, you cannot change Yonkers image unless you get rid of all the scumbags who feed off the city. That is unlikely to happen as the electorate vote for the same crackers time and time again.

  9. There is no bitterness in knowing that Amicone was engaged in a quid pro quo by his ownership of a franchise or two in Ridge Hill. That he may in fact own more property that was consumated while he was mayor. That John Spencer is is able to have his wife employed and that he can get a contract at the dead of night with no celebration of it happening. There is no bitterness in knowing that Amicone extorted money from the Yonkers City Council to pay his personal debts. There is no bitterness. Only sadness that Yonkersites suffer by the hand and lack of concern or interest by the people they entrust to govern over them.
    As for access to government, no problem, I don’t need it.
    As forbesmirching Yonkers, you must be joking. Those who have done the wrong are to be accused. But alas, that wouldn’t work for those so engaged. Let’s keep a blind eye while we espouse transparency. When the Ethics Board, let’s call for executive session.

  10. Hezi is a master at rewriting history to fit his warped sense of decency. He has singlehandidly done more to hurt the image of Yonkers then any and all of the pols put together. He sells his soul for crumbs of access and grovels at the feet of the crumb bearer – this year it’s Mike Spano. Heaven help you Mike on the day when you can’t impart those crumbs. You too will be excuriated with the best of them. Alas, Hezi, your posters have got your number. They are leaving this site en mass because they have learned that you are nothing but a bitter man.

  11. murtaugh wasn’t going to win even with no republican
    primary and even if he had all three lines…but the
    fact of the matter is that he was disliked by a huge
    faction of the republican party…while spano was very
    well liked by republicans who did not hold it against
    him for switching and by democrats…murtaugh was
    a bad candidate and maybe would have done slightly
    better with the two lines but not nearly well enough
    to beat mike..

  12. The write-up is based on those actors mentioned in the courts. I have mentioned the corrupr John Spencer and his influence over Yonkers City Hall. I was unaware of the LED contract to which he benefits. If someone, perhaps even you shared that before it would have been helpful. But alas, Yonkers preferes to be silent and maintain their bitterness and save it for a today like today. What is the name of the company and when did the contract win approval and who approved it. I have always mentioned the illustrious families: Spano, Spencer, Amicone, Martinelli, and I am unaware of the fifth. SO it goes.

  13. You adeptly excoriated each former elected official but sadly absent from your rogues gallery are the newly employed by the Spano administration Kathy Spring and the fact that the new lights in the city are being provided by the company assiciated with surprise surprise John Spencer. Now let us remember that it was Spencer and his puppet Red who constantly blew smoke up the @ss of Richie Martinelli in order to fracture the Republican Party. Then the Calvi camp plays in to the hands of ther Spano group by allowing a Conservative party primary where Murtagh and Calvi and Martinelli split the anti Spano vote. Mikey walks in the annointed one thanks to the machinations of Yonkers oldest political families. If you are going to tell the long and tortured story of Yonkers corruption then don’t leave out the 5 families!

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