Jay Savino, a former Bronx GOP chairman who lives in Rockland, pleaded guilty yesterday to federal charges relating to a corruption scandal that ensnared the mayor and deputy mayor of Spring Valley, The Journal News/lohud.com reports.
Savino, who has a home in Clarkstown and formerly did tax work for the town, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in White Plains to three federal counts, including bribery, conspiracy and wire fraud. The corruption charges carry up to 30 years in prison.
Prosecutors said Savino accepted $15,000 in exchange for promising to help state Sen. Malcolm Smith, D-Bronx, possibly run for New York City mayor on the GOP line. Savino accepted the money after meeting with an undercover FBI agent at a restaurant in Manhattan earlier this year.
The bribe was uncovered in a wide-ranging investigation into Smith that also led to his arrest as well as the arrests of New York City Councilman Daniel Halloran, former Queens Republican Party Vice Chairman Vincent Tabone, Spring Valley Mayor Noramie Jasmin and the village’s Deputy Mayor Joseph Desmaret.
Jasmin and Desmaret were charged in a separate bribery scheme, accused of selling their votes to support a kosher catering facility on village property on Route 45. Authorities say they agreed to steer the development to a cooperating government witness.
Both have pleaded not guilty on the corruption charges.
Savino remains free on $250,000 bond. He will be sentenced Feb. 24, 2014. A lawyer for Savino could not be immediately reached for comment.
(Journal News file photo of Savino, left, leaving the federal courthouse in White Plains.)