They want corrupt politicians to get them off the hook for corruption.
The well-heeled de Blasio donor and high-ranking cops charged in a massive corruption scheme hope a U.S. Supreme Court decision that narrows the scope of bribery charges will prompt a judge to toss their case.
Jeremy Reichberg, 43, is accused of lavishing retired Deputy Chief Michael Harrington and Deputy Inspector James Grant with cash and gifts for favors such as police escorts and mediation into private disputes, the Manhattan U.S. Attorney has alleged.
Their lawyers are now taking a page from corrupt pols Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos’ playbook to get the case dismissed.
In June, the Supreme Court voted to vacate former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell’s 2014 corruption conviction for allegedly accepting $175,000 in goodies and loans from an entrepreneur — and then scheduling sit-downs on his behalf.
The justices reasoned arranging meetings doesn’t constitute the type of “official act” that equates to bribery.
A lawyer for Silver, who was convicted in November on seven corruption counts, told an appeals court earlier this month the disgraced ex-state Assembly speaker also didn’t make any “official act” under the McDonnell ruling.
The lawyer, Steven Molo, argued that finding jobs for cronies’ kids and setting up meetings — part of the prosecution’s case against Silver — didn’t constitute a “formal exercise of governmental power.”
Skelos and his son Adam were convicted in December of bribery, extortion and conspiracy charges, are also appealing on similar grounds.
During a hearing Friday, lawyers for Reichberg, Grant, and Harrington told Judge Gregory Woods the allegations against their clients didn’t meet the stricter standard of “official act outlined in the U.S. Supreme Court decision.”
Susan Necheles, Reichberg’s lawyer, argued the allegations against the men were too broad to draw a clear and distinct quid-pro-quo.
Deputy Chief Michael Harrington is seen leaving his arraignment in Manhattan Federal Court.
(Alec Tabak/for New York Daily News)
“We believe there are real issues,” Necheles said.
Andrew Weinstein, who reps Harrington, said the allegations against the clients involved an ongoing exchange but again, no distinct relationship between gift giving and favor receiving.
“The acts as alleged do not constitute official acts … ” Weinstein said.
Prosecutor Martin Bell countered that the documents “contain numerous, specific official acts and benefits.”
“There is a very detailed complaint that we designed in the weeks after McDonnell,” Bell said.