The longtime boss of the city’s jails union is about to get a different view of prison.
Norman Seabrook, the former head of the union representing city correction officers, was convicted Wednesday of accepting a $60,000 kickback in exchange for a $20 million investment of members’ retirement money.
Jurors returned the guilty verdict on a count of honest services fraud, but were initially deadlocked on a conspiracy charge. They handed down the second guilty ruling after an additional hour of deliberation.
“I’m still smiling,” Seabrook, 58, said after the first verdict was read.
He then consoled his supporters, including his wife, in the courtroom.
“Don’t cry, baby. God is good. Stop crying,” he said.
The verdict in Manhattan Federal Court capped a stunning downfall for Seabrook, who as head of the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association held tremendous influence over promotions within the Department of Correction and jail operations.
“Norman Seabrook was once one of the most powerful union leaders in this city. Today, he stands convicted of taking a $60,000 bribe to invest $20 million of his union members’ money in a fund that ultimately went belly-up,” Manhattan U.S. Geoffrey Berman said.
It was the second time Seabrook had been tried for the scheme. The first effort ended in mistrial in November 2017 due to a deadlocked jury.
The charges of honest services fraud — essentially betrayal of union members — and conspiracy both carry a maximum of 20 years in prison. Seabrook is expected to face much less when sentenced on Nov. 30.