- - Tuesday, October 19, 2010

NEW YORK

Feds: Ex-lawmaker used charity funds

NEW YORK | A disgraced New York politician who was expelled from the state Senate after a misdemeanor conviction for assaulting his girlfriend was accused Tuesday of funding his 2006 campaign with money that was supposed to go to charity.

An indictment charges Queens Democrat Hiram Monserrate with mail fraud and conspiracy. He was to appear later Tuesday in federal court in Manhattan.

Defense attorney Joseph Tacopina said his client intends to plead not guilty and “vigorously fight the charges.”

The corruption case stems from when Mr. Monserrate was a member of the City Council. In 2006 and 2007, prosecutors say, he directed $300,000 in so-called discretionary funds to a nonprofit called Latino Initiative for Better Resources and Empowerment, or LIBRE.

The indictment alleges that $100,000 was secretly funneled to Mr. Monserrate’s council re-election and Senate primary campaigns.

NEW JERSEY

Union members rally for tunnel

NORTH BERGEN | Several hundred union members have turned out for a rally to support a second rail tunnel from New Jersey into Manhattan.

Democratic Sens. Frank R. Lautenberg and Robert Menendez told the crowd in North Bergen that Gov. Chris Christie was shortsighted when it came to the estimated $9 billion project.

Mr. Christie pulled the plug this month and agreed to a two-week review due to end Friday.

The Republican said he will consider restarting the tunnel project if someone else helps pick up the tab. Mr. Christie fears huge cost overruns that he said the state can’t afford.

TELEVISION

Obama to visit ‘The Daily Show’

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