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D-Day For Dethroned Democratic Boss

The dance may be continuing, but fallen Assemblymember Clarence Norman will have to stop and face the music next week. Officials from the Kings County District Attorney’s office said that Norman will be sentenced on Wednesday morning, January 11, following his convictions for violating election law and pocketing $5,000 meant for his campaign. Sources close to the case said that it is nearly assured that Judge Martin Marcus will order Norman to prison, even through Norman still has two other cases pending against him. His is currently facing 15 years in jail. The next two trials have yet to be scheduled, said a spokesperson from the Kings County DA’s office. Calls to Norman’s attorney Ed Rappaport for comment were not returned as this paper went to press. Norman lost his Assembly seat, his position as chair of the Kings County Democratic Party and his law career this past September when he was convicted of accepting $10,000 worth of campaign contributions by Albany gasoline lobbyists, knowing that they exceeded the legal monetary limit. His sentencing on the first set of charges was postponed until the end of the ‘check-pocketing’ trial. It took jurors six days to find the disgraced political party boss guilty of pocketing a $5,000 check meant for his campaign fund. He was released on $100,000 bail hours after the verdict. Taking the stand at trial, Norman admitted to depositing the check into his personal account, but said he did so because he knew the check was really payback for a loan he made to Alan Hevesi’s failed 2001 mayoral campaign. The jury, comprising four whites and eight people of color, was apparently unmoved by his explanation. The two other indictments against Norman include charges that he defrauded Albany by filing travel expense requests already paid for by the Kings County Democratic Party and coercion charges which allege that Norman and Kings County Democratic Party Executive Director Jeff Feldman forced judicial candidates to use costly vendors of their own choosing if the candidates wanted continued party support.

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