WNYT.com

McDonough retrial to start with jury selection Tuesday

Posted at: 11/12/2012 3:41 PM
Updated at: 11/12/2012 4:48 PM
By: Bill Lambdin

TROY - No one outside the jury room can be absolutely positive, but Special Prosecutor Trey Smith was led to believe he was "that close" to a conviction of Edward McDonough and former Troy Councilman Michael LoPorto in the first trial, which took nine weeks before ending in a hung jury.

After 40 hours of deliberation spread over eight days and three notes indicating they were deadlocked, Judge George Pulver released the jury and declared a mistrial.

"I mean right now I'm happy," McDonough said in March. "How could I not be. Obviously this is round one."

At the first trial witnesses testified they never filled out applications for absentee ballots that were submitted in their names and voted in the Working Families Party primary in September of 2009.

The irregularities were first noticed by Republicans who were making their own legal effort to capture the Working Families line.

"I feel that the case that we placed into evidence, particularly against Mr. McDonough, was very strong," Special Prosecutor Trey Smith said in March.

New York is one of a handful of states that allow minor parties to endorse Democratic or Republican candidates and add together votes on all the different ballot lines.

That encourages voters who might not choose a candidate on the major party lines but leads to manipulation and gamesmanship since only a small number of votes are needed to capture the minor party nominations.

450 jurors have been summoned in the initial jury pool screening that begins Tuesday.