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Monday, May 20, 2024 | Back issues
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Another NY Lawmaker Faces Corruption Charges

(CN) - In the second corruption case this week, New York Assemblyman Eric A. Stevenson was arrested Thursday and charged with accepting bribes for helping developers open and manage adult day care centers in the Bronx.

Stevenson, a Democrat representing District 79 in the Bronx, took cash payments from four developers seeking to open and manage adult day care centers in his district, according to a criminal complaint filed by the U.S. attorney in Manhattan.

Another state lawmaker resigned after cooperating with authorities in a non-prosecution deal. That lawmaker, referred to only as "Assemblyman-1" in the complaint, agreed to step down once the charges against Stevenson were revealed publicly.

Also cooperating in the investigation was a former candidate for the New York State Assembly who pleaded guilty in a sealed information to a scheme to bribe Assemblyman-1 early last year. Prosecutors say the confidential witness worked for Igor Belyansky and Rostislav Belyansky aka "Slava" from the late 1990s through early 2012.

Thursday's criminal complaint also accuses the Belyanskys, Igor Tsimerman and David Binman of paying cash bribes to Stevenson and his unnamed colleague, who was cooperating with the government at the time.

Stevenson allegedly accepted the bribes in exchange for his help promoting the adult day care center, expediting a gas line installation, recruiting senior citizens to attend and obtaining a occupancy certificate from the city's buildings department.

The state lawmaker also took a $5,000 bribe to propose a bill that would establish a moratorium on new adult day care centers, thus eliminating the competition and increasing his co-defendants' profits, prosecutors claim.

The confidential witness allegedly took a cut from each bribe.

A criminal investigator with the U.S. Attorney's Office says Stevenson even discussed the crimes of dozens of state politicians convicted in recent years, telling the confidential witness that he was concerned Tsimerman was secretly recording their conversations for law enforcement. Stevenson said that if "they bring me down ... somebody's going to the cemetery."

Stevenson's charges come two days after the arrest of state Sen. Malcolm Smith, who is accused of trying to bribe his way onto the mayoral ballot.

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