Mayor Testified in Case Against Campaign Aide

Prosecutors on Tuesday revealed that Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg had given secret grand jury testimony in the case against John F. Haggerty Jr., a campaign aide who is accused of stealing $1.1 million from the mayor.

During a hearing in Supreme Court in Manhattan in which lawyers for Mr. Haggerty sought to have the charges dismissed, Assistant District Attorney Eric Seidel told Judge Ronald A. Zweibel, “I’ll reveal this — Mayor Bloomberg testified in the grand jury.”

Mr. Seidel added, “The grand jury minutes support the charges.”

The indictment against Mr. Haggerty has riveted New York City’s political world. It charges that he set up a phony ballot security operation for the mayor’s 2009 re-election and stole the money intended to pay for it to buy a house.

At the hearing, Mr. Seidel called Mr. Haggerty a “liar” who “took a circuitous, devious route to obtain the money” from Mr. Bloomberg. “This a story of greed, a story of lies, a story of arrogance,” he said.

Mr. Haggerty has denied wrongdoing. His lawyers suggested that the district attorney failed to make a persuasive case during the grand jury proceedings. Judge Zweibel did not rule on dismissing the charges.

Throughout the proceeding in Supreme Court, Mr. Haggerty’s lawyers seemed to telegraph their defense, should the case go to trial: Mr. Haggerty provided the services he was paid for, even if he was paid a very high price for those services.

“There is no crime in coming in under budget,” said Raymond R. Castello, one of the defense lawyers and a former top Manhattan prosecutor.

The case has put a spotlight on the vast sum of money — $110 million — that Mr. Bloomberg spent on his campaign for a third term and the very quiet way he went about some of it.

To pay Mr. Haggerty, for example, Mr. Bloomberg routed funds through the New York State Independence Party, rather than putting Mr. Haggerty on his campaign payroll. Such a donation did not have to be disclosed until long after the election, on Jan. 15, 2010, as Mr. Haggerty noted in an e-mail to Bloomberg aides that was shown in the courtroom on Monday.

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