By Sarina Trangle
It’s one big clan of counsel in northeast Queens.
White Plains federal court Judge Kenneth Karas approved former Bayside Councilman Daniel Halloran’s request to hire a new attorney, Jonathan Edelstein, Friday. Karas also asked the Republican to sign a waiver authorizing the first of three defense attorneys that have argued his case, Dennis Ring, to sign on as counsel for Halloran’s codefendant Vincent Tabone. Ring once worked as chief of staff in Halloran’s City Council office.
Halloran said Vinoo Varghese, the defense attorney who represented him during his trial, does not do appeal work. So he hired Edelstein to take over before his Jan. 21 sentencing date and to prepare an appeal.
A jury found Halloran guilty of scheming with two undercover FBI operatives he believed were wealthy businessmen to direct discretionary city money to a sham charity, and ultimately, to them.
Halloran was also convicted of negotiated alleged bribes to leaders of borough Republican parties while attempting to get their organizations to sign off on state Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Hollis) running on their ticket in the 2013 mayoral elections.
Smith, who is accused of collaborating on orchestrating the alleged bribes with Halloran, and Tabone, the former Queens GOP vice chairman accused of pocketing an alleged bribe, have both maintained their innocence.
Their cases were severed from Halloran’s this summer. Smith’s and Tabone’s attorneys successfully sought a mistrial because the government failed to hand over hours of conversations in English and Yiddish recorded via wiretap on a cooperating witness’ phone ahead of the initial trial.
Tabone hired Ring after his prior attorney failed to get an adjournment due to her pregnancy and planned maternity leave.
His and Smith’s second round in White Plains federal court is slated to get under way Jan. 5.
Reach reporter Sarina Trangle by e-mail at stran[email protected]nglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4546.