YONKERS - Opening statements began today in the "Corridor of Corruption" trial of state Sen. Malcolm Smith.

The politically charged trial centers around a plot involving Smith allegedly trying to bribe Republican Party officials to get permission to run on the GOP ticket for New York mayor.

Also on trial are former New York City Councilman Daniel Halloran, who allegedly helped facilitate the bribes, and Vincent Tabone, the former vice chair of the Queens Republican Party, who allegedly accepted a bribe.

The trial hit a snag this morning after it was revealed that an alternate juror's father-in-law knew the defendant.  He was excused from the trial by the judge, but the process delayed opening arguments for almost two hours.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas Bloom told the jury today that Smith conspired to pay thousands of dollars to Republican Party officials to run on their ticket. He said undercover recordings will show the specific amounts and wording of the bribes.

Among the witnesses expected to be called when the trial resumes on Thursday are several FBI agents and state Sen. Diane Savino, a Brooklyn Democrat.