The Real Deal New York

Two officials found guilty in Yonkers mall, housing complex corruption charges

March 29, 2012 03:00PM

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From left: Former Yonkers City Council member Sandy Annabi, Zehy Jereis, former chairman of the Yonkers Republican Committee, and the Ridge Hill complex

Former Yonkers City Council member Sandy Annabi and Zehy Jereis, former chairman of the Yonkers Republican Committee, were both found guilty today on all counts in a corruption case over the Ridge Hill luxury mall and housing complex project, the New York Times reported.

As previously reported, the charges against both defendants included offering and accepting bribes for Annabi to reverse her stance on Forest City Ratner’s 91-acre development for the final vote of approval. Annabi accepted nearly $175,000 in bribes from Jereis. As previously reported, Forest City Ratner has not been charged with any wrongdoing, though this marks the second recent corruption case to cite the developer’s name.

Both defendants faced charges of conspiracy, extortion, receiving corrupt payments and other counts, the Times reported.

Annabi’s lawyer, William Aronwald, said he plans to have the guilty verdict set aside.

“The evidence was insufficient to sustain a guilty verdict,” he said outside the courthouse to the Times. “The government did not prove a corrupt agreement.”

Anthony Siano, Jereis’ lawyer, told the Times that Jereis felt “profoundly disappointed in the verdict, and will continue to press in post-trial motions for what we believe is the truth, that is, that he is not guilty of these crimes.” [NYT]

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