NY’s Abe Hirschfeld Convicted
NEW YORK (AP) _ Abe Hirschfeld, the real estate developer and frequent political candidate, was convicted Friday in his second trial on charges of trying to hire a hitman to kill his business partner.
Hirschfeld, 80, was found guilty of second-degree criminal solicitation for offering to pay $150,000 to have Stanley Stahl, his real estate partner of 40 years, killed in 1997 because of a business dispute.
The judge allowed Hirschfeld, whose first trial ended in a deadlocked jury, to remain free on $1 million bail. He faces up to seven years in prison when he is sentenced Aug. 1.
Hirschfeld, a former New York Post owner who is running for the Senate, did not comment as he left the courthouse. He still faces a second trial on state and city tax evasion charges July 31. His first trial in the tax case also ended in a deadlocked jury.
Assistant District Attorney Gilda Mariani said Hirschfeld in fall 1996 gave Joseph Veltri, one of his building contractors, $75,000 as a downpayment to a hit man.
Veltri testified that he delivered the money, but called police when a second envelope Hirschfeld gave him contained information about Stahl.
Stahl was told of the alleged plot and was not harmed, but he did start riding in a bulletproof car and wearing a bulletproof coat. He died of natural causes in 1997.
Hirschfeld just recently was released from a 90-day jail stay for contempt of court. The judge ordered him jailed because he violated a court ban on discussing the trial with the media.
He also is being sued by Paula Jones, whom Hirschfeld offered $1 million to drop her sexual harassment lawsuit against President Clinton.
Jones settled that lawsuit for $850,000 in November 1998, in part to accept Hirschfeld’s offer, she said. Hirschfeld then tried to back out of the offer, alleges her lawsuit, which was filed in Dallas on Feb. 15.