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Larry Seabrook convicted of corruption

HERB BOYD Special to the AmNews | 8/2/2012, 1:22 p.m.
Longtime attorney runs for City Council

"He advocated for his constituents and he fought for programs to help them," said Edward Wilford of his client, Councilman Larry Seabrook, who was convicted last Thursday on nine counts of corruption.

Clearly, from the jury's standpoint, Seabrook advocated a bit too much for his constituents, including his family and girlfriend. Seabrook, 61, was found guilty of nine out of 12 counts in Manhattan federal court.

At first, as the forewoman announced that he was not guilty of the first three charges of fraud, things were looking pretty good, but then came the nine verdicts that did little to remove an impassive expression from his face.

"I have faith in the system," Seabrook told the press outside the courtroom. "I have faith in God, and now I'll prepare myself for what's next."

By next he means losing his seat representing the Bronx.

In his defense of Seabrook--this being the second trial, the first ending in a deadlock--Wilford argued that the case against his client, a former assemblyman and state senator, largely rested on the word of "liars and thieves" who never informed Seabrook of their misdeeds. Wilford said that Seabrook "did a good job" and that he respected the jury's verdict, though he disagreed with it.

Calls to Wilford's office were not returned.

Seabrook's conviction, said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. in a press statement, allows the borough to move forward. "The Bronx, as well as the entire city of New York, deserves honest, corruption-free government, and the actions of one individual should by no means cast a bad light on the hundreds of hardworking elected officials in my borough and beyond, who work everyday to represent their constituents and solve problems for their communities.

"That is the level of service and commitment the public deserves," Diaz added, "and I intend to work with my colleagues to rebuild and restore the public's faith in government."