Powerful NY Politician Indicted
MANHATTAN (CN) - The New York Senate's second-ranking Republican was charged Tuesday with lying to the FBI about how his son got a job at a law firm, and what happened next.
State Sen. Thomas Libous, who has represented Binghamton and its environs since 1989, is accused of lying about how his son got a job as an attorney in exchange for promises that the senator would steer business to the firm.
The indictment states: "Beginning in or about March 2010, the Federal Bureau of Investigation ('FBI') and the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation ('IRS') were assisting a federal grand jury sitting in White Plains, New York in its investigation into allegations that:
"a) Thomas W. Libous, the defendant, had obtained a job for his son at Law Firm 1 in exchange for Libous' promise to steer future business to Law Firm 1; and b) Libous caused Lobbying Firm 1 to pay $50,000 annually to Law Firm 1 to defray the cost of: i) the inflated salary that Libous requested Law Firm 1 to pay to his son; and ii) a lease of a Range Rover for Libous' son, the payments for which Libous guaranteed. "Among other things, the grand jury and the FBI and IRS were investigating whether Libous told a partner of Law Firm 1 that the firm would have to 'build a new wing' to accommodate the business it would receive if it hired his son.
"On or about June 24, 2010, Special Agents of the FBI interviewed Thomas W. Libous, the defendant, as part of the investigation.
"During that interview, Libous falsely stated in substance and in part ('the False Statements') that:
"he could not recall how his son began to work at Law Firm 1;
"no deals were made to get his son the job at Law Firm 1;
"he was not aware that Lobbying Firm 1 had paid any part of his son's salary at Law Firm 1;
"he never promised to refer work to Law Firm 1;
"he was not involved in his son's decision to work at Law Firm 1;
"he had no business or personal relationship with Law Firm 1; and
"he did not know of any relationship between Lobbying Firm 1 and Law Firm 1."
The indictment does not identify the law firm or the lobbyist.
But The New York Times, citing "a person briefed on the matter," reported today that the law firm was Santangelo, Randazzo & Mangone, and the lobbying firm was Ostroff, Hiffa & Associates, now known as Ostroff Associates."
Sen. Libous' son Matthew was indicted separately today, on six counts, including evading taxes on $280,000 of unreported income, and obstruction of justice.
Federal prosecutors have been investigating the New York Legislature for years. It is believed to be one of the most corrupt in the country.