Saturday, December 10, 2011

Mistrial declared in corruption trial of Bronx Councilman Larry Seabrook

Prosecutors plan to retry politician

Originally Published: Friday, December 9 2011, 3:24 PM
Updated: Saturday, December 10 2011, 1:56 AM


  Bronx City Councilman Larry Seabrook and his wife, Maria Diaz, enter Manhattan Federal Court on Friday morning. A mistrial was declared after the jury said it was deadlocked.

A mistrial was declared Friday in the corruption trial of Bronx City Councilman Larry Seabrook after the jury told the judge it was hopelessly deadlocked.

“It appears we will remain deadlocked,” the jury said in a note to Manhattan Federal Judge Robert Patterson.

Seabrook, who was charged with 12 counts of soliciting bribes, money laundering and fraud, kept a poker face as the judge dismissed the jury and thanked them for their “sacrifice.”

But the minute jurors were gone, a broad smile creased Seabrook’s face and he got up and began hugging his wife, Maria Diaz, and other family members.

Prosecutors plan to retry Seabrook.

The jury’s failure to reach a verdict after seven days of deliberation did not come as a surprise.

The eight women and four men on the panel had warned Patterson earlier this week that they were at an impasse.

Patterson told them to try again to reach a verdict “on all or some

of the counts, one way or another."

Apparently, they couldn’t do that.

Seabrook is accused of steering City Council slush funds to nonprofits under his control to benefit himself, mistress Gloria Jones-Grant and family members, including a teenage granddaughter.

Seabrook is also charged with shaking down a Bronx business that he helped to win a contract on the new Yankee Stadium.

In his summation, prosecutor Brent Wible said Seabrook's family and friends got more than $600,000 in city funds from the nonprofits in a six-year period.

He said the primary goal of one of the nonprofits, the North East Bronx Redevelopment Corp. wasn't to help the people of the northeast Bronx.

"NEBRC's primary goal was to help Larry Seabrook," the prosecutor said.

Throughout the four-week trial, Seabrook insisted he would be vindicated.

“I’ve always had the faith,” he said at one point. “I have faith.”

rgearty@nydailynews.com

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