Ex-Lawmaker Gets 5 Years in Corruption

Benjamin Weiser, New York Times, January 8, 2013

Larry B. Seabrook, a pillar of Bronx politics whose nearly three-decade tenure included stints as an assemblyman, state senator and city councilman, was sentenced to five years in prison in a corruption case on Tuesday by a federal judge who said he had betrayed the public trust.

Mr. Seabrook, 61, was also ordered to pay $620,000 in restitution to New York City.

Mr. Seabrook automatically lost his City Council seat in July after he was convicted of orchestrating a broad scheme to funnel hundreds of thousands of dollars in city money to friends, relatives and a girlfriend through a network of nonprofit groups he controlled.

His lawyers had asked that he not be sent to prison, citing his years of public service and what they called his immense shame and his potential for rehabilitation.

But the judge, Deborah A. Batts of Federal District Court in Manhattan, said that while she did not doubt Mr. Seabrook’s contributions as an elected official, the evidence had “clearly established that his qualities and accomplishments as a public servant are vastly diminished because of his sense of entitlement, arrogance, nepotism and greed.

“Instead of holding himself to a higher fiduciary standard as a councilman,” Judge Batts continued, Mr. Seabrook had “held himself above the law” and “betrayed the public trust by using his office to enrich himself and others.”

{snip}

In speaking briefly to the judge before she imposed the sentence, Mr. Seabrook appeared to blame others for his predicament, much as his lawyers had sought to do during his trial last year.

He said that some of the people to whom he had given opportunities “did not do what they were supposed to do.”

“And I guess I will take the responsibility of that which they did,” he said, “but I know that the level of criminality that they might have done certainly was not a part of me.”

{snip}

Mr. Seabrook’s first trial ended in a mistrial in December 2011 after a jury said that it could not reach a verdict. In a retrial, which lasted just over a month, he was convicted on 9 of 12 counts, including mail and wire fraud.

Prosecutors said, for example, that Mr. Seabrook had appointed his girlfriend, Gloria Jones-Grant, executive director of the nonprofit groups, even though he knew she was unqualified.

Ms. Jones-Grant received more than $300,000 in city money from those positions and consulting, the government said.

Preet Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan, whose office had sought a sentence of at least 7 ¼ years, said after the sentencing on Tuesday that Mr. Seabrook had been “a flagrant and serial abuser of City Council discretionary funds in a far-too-familiar New York tale of corruption.”

{snip}

Larry Seabrook

Larry Seabrook

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  • http://twitter.com/BillEBOBB1 Bill E. BOBB

    “His lawyers had asked that he not be sent to prison, citing his years of
    public service and what they called his immense shame and his potential
    for rehabilitation.”

    Only lawyers and black folks would dare to say something as preposterous as this.

    • Michael_C_Scott

      I’m reminded of the old joke about the teenager who killed his parents asking the court for mercy because he’s an orphan.

      Seabrook’s years of “public service” consisted of theft from the public.

      • StillModerated

        That was the Menendez brothers’ defense lawyer. This grinning fool’s barrister probably begged for clemency on the grounds that his client is a fourth generation slave, and a survivor of both Jim Crow laws and segregated schools.

  • shmo123

    “And I guess I will take the responsibility of that which they did,”
    he said, “but I know that the level of criminality that they might have
    done certainly was not a part of me.”

    Huh? Say what?
    Whatever you say Shakespeare. Make note of his contributions and take that down to carve on his tombstone.

    • Michael_C_Scott

      Who is the “they” this Seabrook lunatic is trying to blame?

  • Bill

    There is only one reason blacks go in to politics and it’s the same reason a black wants to be President of some hell hole, backward, third world African country. To rip off the system and get rich. It’s universal among them. Name ONE black that has NOT done this, anywhere in the country. just one.

    • http://twitter.com/seedymedia r j p

      There is only one reason 90% of blacks do anything ….

      • http://twitter.com/baldowl baldowl

        “Let me get dat.”

    • sam I am

      Allen West….you nimwit..

    • Luca

      Not just politics, but civil service jobs as well. I worked in a local Government and we had a black purchasing agent who hired so many black “consultants” who did nothing but “do-nothing” jobs and attended meetings just for the sake of show that it became a running joke. Anytime we saw a black street-bum anywhere near our building we’d ask “I wonder if he’s our new consultant?”

    • OlderWoman

      Back in the early 70’s I heard blacks talking about their plan to take over the government by getting jobs in the system.

  • bigone4u

    The judge in this case is a black woman, rather old looking in her pic. I assume the jury was mostly black as well. I suppose that the prosecutors had to argue that he had stolen from blacks because if he had stolen from whites, in my experience there would have been another mistrial or acquittal.

  • gemjunior

    So unbelievably disgusting. Now that I have been made aware of the low IQ of these folks – by books I found out existed from this website – I can see how these idiots could do this. They either think nobody will notice massive amounts of money missing because they’re so slick, or live so much in the moment that they don’t care. Either way they don’t have any shame at all. Because it is somebody ELSE’s fault.

    • fuzzypook

      It’s all three of those things. They have low IQ’s and cannot appreciate long term consequences of their actions. And no, they have no shame when they get caught, “I didnt do nuffins.”

  • saris1

    Really, this is news? A corrupt Politician? Wow… I’m in total shock right now!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003201678474 Eric Shun

    I don’t know, but every news story I’ve read over the past few years about ID theft and fraudulent tax return involves a black perpetrator. Here’s another with a good picture.

    Former Palm Beach County Health Department clerk charged with stealing patient data.
    http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/palm-beach/fl-health-department-arrest-20130109,0,282976.story

    Medical offices, hospitals, banks, Human Resource offices – if you permit a black employee to have access to sensitive personal identification of patients and employees you are taking a very big risk!

    • http://countenance.wordpress.com/ Question Diversity

      It’s like I said this past weekend here. Ask the average person his mental images of “white collar crime,” and he’ll think of the nightly snooze report of some white (often Jewish) man in a suit being led away in handcuffs off of Wall Street, with the worlds “tens/hundreds of millions/billions” in the background. When in reality, a whole lot of white collar crimes are done at the hands of blacks, esp. black women, only they’re relatively small dollar amounts. The only reason blacks aren’t big into high dollar white collar crime is for a lack of opportunity. It’s the same reason why recent African history doesn’t have dozens of Hitlers and Stalins and Lenins and Pol-Pots: Lack of opportunity and the ability to plan ahead.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003201678474 Eric Shun

    $620K is nothing compared to the $48 million stolen by one black female employee at the DC tax office, ans she got away with it for several years. One question: where’s the loot now?

    Problems lingered at D.C. tax office for years after 2007 scandal, audits show
    http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2012-10-08/news/35499296_1_tax-office-property-tax-refunds-natwar-m-gandhi

    “Gandhi and his senior managers said they have made major improvements to
    accountability since manager Harriette Walters was caught in 2007 stealing $48 million through phony property tax refunds — the largest embezzlement in city history.”

    • Michael_C_Scott

      What in God’s name does one person do with $48 million of stolen money?

      • StillModerated

        Two words: Las Vegas.

  • OlderWoman

    He has a dent in his forehead. More TNB I’d imagine.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003201678474 Eric Shun

    This was a huge multi-million dollar US Army contract bribery scandal from 2007. It involved abut a dozen black US Army sergeants and officers stationed in Iraq. Back at that time, the WSJ did an in-depth piece on the case and included many pictures of the scammers.

    Iraq War Contract Scandal Widens
    http://www.military.com/NewsContent/0,13319,156902,00.html

    Teams of U.S. investigators are reviewing a sample of about 6,000 U.S. military contracts worth $2.8 billion that were awarded by a single Army office at Camp Arifjan…

    The U.S. has publicly identified only some of the companies and individuals linked to the alleged bribery and fraud…The biggest bribery case brought so far involves Maj. John Cockerham, a former Army contracting officer, his wife and sister. They have been
    charged in U.S. federal court with receiving $9.6 million in bribes from companies seeking contracts to provide bottled water and other supplies…

    The apparent suicide last year in Baghdad of Army Maj. Gloria D. Davis set in motion a chain of events that has shed light on the case and others in the web. Before her death on Dec. 12, Davis told Army investigators she had received $225,000 in bribes from Lee in return for granting his company $14 million in contracts to provide warehouses and management services in Iraq. She took the bribes while a contracting officer at Camp Arifjan in 2003 and 2004.

  • fuzzypook

    I once interviewed for a job at the local water company. I was at first denied an interview because I was told I was there on the wrong day (I was not) then I got a call 5 minutes after I left saying I could come back for an interview anyway. A black woman, who was actually a nice person, was working at the water company. I used to work with her at a bank. She liked me.She talked her bosses into interviewing me. She wasted my time. I knew as soon as I walked into the interview room that it was a waste of time. Two interviewers,, both black women. Needless to say I didn’t get a job.