The Journal News: ‘Slam Dunk’ Verdict Called ‘Turning Point’ for Yonkers

“I think the jury worked very, very hard and very carefully,” said Bennett Gershman, a legal analyst and professor at Pace University School of Law. “They obviously checked on the issue of credibility because they asked for Mangone’s testimony and Jereis’ testimony. They obviously found that they believed Mangone.”

Pace Law professor Ben Gershman told The Journal News “I think the jury worked very, very hard and very carefully.”

From The Journal News:

Few who followed the corruption trial of Sandy Annabi and Zehy Jereis were surprised Thursday by the jury’s guilty verdict, even as many said they hoped the city could move on from the scandal.

The five-week trial was the final act in a federal probe that had hung over the city since at least March 2007, when word  leaked that an investigation was under way.

Mayor Mike Spano said Thursday the verdict was “a turning point” for Yonkers, adding that he hopes the conviction will serve as a deterrent against future malfeasance.

“This says, very clearly and very loudly, ‘If you are elected, you are entrusted with public dollars — and if you are in any way complicit in taking illegal gifts, you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Spano said.

The mayor — whose brother, former state Sen. Nicholas Spano, pleaded guilty in February to tax-evasion charges — also called the verdict a “slam dunk for prosecutors,” adding that “it sends a strong message that violating the public trust won’t be tolerated.”

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