(This article was first published on Oct 21, 2005.)

This story was reported by Mark McDonald, Chris Brennan, Earni Young, Dave Davies, Simone Weichselbaum, Erin Einhorn and Kitty Caparella. It was written by McDonald.

A despondent City Councilman Rick Mariano , after a day of repeated media interviews over his likely indictment on federal corruption charges and a talk with his criminal-defense lawyer, took a lonely elevator ride to the tower observation deck atop City Hall late yesterday afternoon.

With helicopters swirling around the tower, police broke through a locked door to reach the deck, which is more than 500 feet above the ground.