NEW YORK — New York state's third-largest party is finding itself embroiled in some high-stakes political intrigue.
Manhattan prosecutors have accused the Independence Party in a lawsuit of helping a political consultant obscure his alleged theft of $1.1 million from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The billionaire mayor and prominent Independence Party candidate gave the money to the party for poll-watching.
The Independence Party hasn't been criminally charged. It says it didn't know about any scheme to divert the money. But a judge has frozen its bank accounts and said this week that its conduct "doesn't smell right."
Party Chairman Frank MacKay says the organization is eager to tell its side of the story at future court dates. He says the party may be taking punches for now, but it will ultimately "move on."