Bronx City Councilman Larry Seabrook was in federal court yesterday, as his corruption trial began. The first witness, who had donated tens of thousands to the Democrat, insisted the money wasn't in exchange for getting the job to make boilers for the new Yankee Stadium, "He never said give me money for the Yankee Stadium. It was never a, what do you call it? Quid pro quo."

Seabrook was indicted in February 2010 for money laundering, conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, mail and wire fraud. Besides noting the $300,000 Yankee Stadium boiler job (and accusing him of shaking down the man for $50,000), the complaint claimed Seabrook directed more than $1 million in discretionary funds to finance nonprofits that inflated their rent claims to the city, and paid his girlfriend, his brother, sisters and nephews $500,000 in salaries and consulting fees; laundered money through political clubs and using the cash for credit card bills, airline tickets to Florida, books, parking fines, and flowers for his sisters, and, most infamously, altered a receipt for a $7 bagel sandwich and a diet soda so he would be reimbursed $177.

While federal prosecutors said in opening statements that Seabrook's non-profits took millions and didn't do anything—and his girlfriend and her family got $530,000—Seabrook's lawyer Anthony Ricco compared him to Martin Luther King Jr., who was jailed in Birmingham, Alabama, saying, "Throughout the history of mankind, the people who stood up for good have been accused of wrongdoing." Ricco also tried to point out that having a mistress wasn't party of the corruption, "Is he perfect? Oh, no. He’s a man. He is a man. But he isn’t on trial for being a man." But funneling money to her...