State Senator Malcolm A. Smith, who rose to become the first black president of the State Senate, and City Councilman Daniel J. Halloran III were arrested early Tuesday on charges of trying to illicitly get Mr. Smith on the ballot for this year’s mayoral race in New York City, according to federal prosecutors. Mr. Smith, a Queens Democrat, and Mr. Halloran, a Queens Republican, were among a half-dozen people arrested by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents in the corruption case. Others included Republican County leaders in Queens and the Bronx, the mayor of the Rockland County village of Spring Valley, Noramie F. Jasmin, and her deputy, Joseph A. Desmaret, according to a criminal complaint. Mr. Smith, 56, was taken from his home in handcuffs by F.B.I. agents before sunrise and Mr. Halloran, a lawyer, was arrested about the same time, law enforcement authorities said.
Mr. Smith, a contractor and real estate developer, has said he was considering running for mayor as a Republican, and the charges contend that he made payments to Mr. Halloran in exchange for the councilman’s assistance in setting up meetings with Republican leaders as part of an effort to get on the ballot, the complaint said.
The criminal complaint was filed by federal prosecutors in Manhattan and was unsealed Tuesday morning. Mr. Smith, Mr. Halloran and the others were to appear later Tuesday before a United States magistrate judge in United States District Court in White Plains.
Mr. Smith, according to the complaint, agreed with a cooperating witness and an undercover F.B.I. agent, who was masquerading as a wealthy real estate developer, to pay off leaders of Republican county committees in New York’s five boroughs. The bribes were to be paid to obtain specific certificates authorizing him to run for mayor as a Republican even though he was a registered Democrat.