Halloran pleaded not guilty to federal bribery charges last week following an April 2nd arrest on charges he solicited cash to help grease the wheels with Queens County Republican Party leaders to get State Senator Malcolm Smith, a Democrat from Queens, on the GOP mayoral primary ballot.
“Regrettably, I must now focus my attention on clearing my name and restoring my reputation, while I continue to discharge my sworn duties as a member of the New York City Council,” Halloran said in a statement.
Halloran maintains his innocence.
“I look forward to having my day in court, where I am confident that I will ultimately be vindicated,” he said. “Now is the time I must work to that end.”
In his statement, Halloran also thanked his staff.
For these last four years, our community has been fortunate to have had my incredible Council District 19 staff working hard to resolve issues between the citizenry and their city government,” he said. “They continue work diligently in the people’s interest, and it saddens me that these dedicated public servants have suffered along with me.”
Halloran will serve out the remainder of his term, and could still face disciplinary action from the City Council for not only the federal charges, but reports that he had an affair with a former staffer and is currently in a relationship with another woman he met while she worked in his district office.
The latter was reportedly at his apartment when Halloran was taken into custody.
Even before his announcement, there were a number of other candidates on the Democratic side looking to challenge Halloran. Paul Graziano, Austin Shafran, Paul Vallone, and John Duane have all filed to run, with other candidates considering entering the primary, including Kevin Kim and Halloran's own former chief of staff, Chrissy Voskerichian.
"Councilman Halloran's decision to not seek re-election is the right one for the people of our district,” said Shafran after the announcement. “They deserve a full-time Councilman who is focused on working for the people of Queens, not his own legal defense.”
And had he decided to seek re-election, Halloran would have face a challenge form his own party. The Queens GOP had already endorsed a Republican challenger in Dennis Saffran, and it has been rumored that Rudy Giuliani, Councilman Eric Ulrich's chief of staff and a relative of the former mayor with the same name, is considering a run on the Republican line.