NEW YORK — John Zaccaro, the husband of 1984 Democratic vice presidential candidate Geraldine A. Ferraro, pleaded innocent today to charges of bribe solicitation and attempted extortion in connection with the granting of cable television franchises.
Ferraro sat in the front row of the courtroom as her husband's lawyer entered the plea.
The shakedown allegedly occurred on Oct. 27, 1981. It has been reported that a grand jury heard testimony that Zaccaro sought $1 million.
Outside the court, Zaccaro, who was released on his own recognizance, said, "I want to say in plain English that I am simply and completely innocent."
Ferraro said, "If I had not run, John Zaccaro would have been John Zaccaro, real estate broker . . . he would not have been John Zaccaro, center of national attention, husband of Geraldine Ferraro, who ran for vice president."