New York State Senator Malcolm A. Smith and City Councilman Daniel J. Halloran were arrested early this morning on charges of trying to rig the New York City mayoral race. The two men were among several facing federal corruption charges.

Smith, whose lawyers deny any wrongdoing, was considering running for mayor of New York as a Republican, though he currently serves as a registered Democrat. He was supposedly making payments to Halloran in exchange for his assistance in setting up meetings with Republican leaders to get Smith's name on the ballot.

Smith, a 56-year-old Queens native, worked as a contractor and real estate developer before serving as the first black president of the State Senate. In 2010 he was investigated by a federal grand jury regarding non-profit real estate investments that might have been self-serving. This morning, Smith was taken from his home in handcuffs at the same time Halloran was arrested. Halloran is a Republican from Queens. Noramie F. Jasmin, the mayor of Rockland County village Spring Valley, and her deputy were among the others charged.

[New York Times, image via AP]