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Mayor Bloomberg takes stand in operative's trial

Oct 3, 2011, 7:24 a.m.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg took the stand Monday in the trial of a Republican operative charged with stealing more than $1 million from the mayor during his 2009 re-election campaign.

In his direct testimony, Bloomberg said he donated $1.2 million to the Independence Party for a ballot-security operation on Election Day 2009 promised to him by John Haggerty. Prosecutors have accused Haggerty of selling Bloomberg the operation, but spending the mayor's money on a house instead.

"We gave it with a purpose," Bloomberg testified. "The purposes was to provide ballot security. It was not a general donation."

Under questioning from the defense, Bloomberg says he did not "personally" rely on Haggerty's representations but that he relied on details Haggerty provided to his staff.

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