NYC mayor takes stand in ex-operative's trial

By JENNIFER PELTZ and SAMANTHA GROSS | October 3, 2011 | 10:35 AM EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — Mayor Michael Bloomberg has taken the stand in the grand larceny trial of a former campaign operative accused of bilking the mayor out of more than $1 million.

Bloomberg testified Monday. He said he never would have donated more than $1 million to the state Independence Party in 2009 if he had thought it wouldn't be used on a poll-monitoring operation.

Prosecutors say former aide John Haggerty convinced the mayor and his staff to pay for a $1.1 million poll-monitoring operation that never materialized. They say he instead used most of the money to buy a house.

The billionaire mayor says he's unhappy about the loss. He says a lot of good could have been done with $1.1 million, and he called it "a lot of money."

John Haggerty denies the charges.