NY Corruption Crackdown Ends in Ex-Senator’s Conviction

Dean and Adam Skelos. (AP File Photo)

(CN) – Completing an anti-corruption crusade that swept New York’s government, a federal jury found the state’s former Republican Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and his son guilty on all counts at a retrial on Tuesday.

The case against Dean and Adam Skelos marked the last remaining retrial in a spate of prosecutions filed by former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara against both branches of New York’s Legislature and close allies of the governor.

Every case that went to trial ended in a conviction, including that of the Skelos family, ex-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and eight lobbyists, developers, and political operatives connected to sitting Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Only one defendant, developer Michael Laipple, escaped the onslaught when the government dropped the charges against him before trial.

Celebrating the verdict, Deputy Manhattan U.S. Attorney Robert Khuzami noted a familiar pattern.

“Yet again, a New York jury heard a sordid tale of bribery, extortion, and the abuse of power by a powerful public official of this state,” Khuzami said in a statement. “And yet again, a jury responded with a unanimous verdict of guilt, in this case of Dean Skelos and his son Adam – sending the resounding message that political corruption will not be tolerated.”

A U.S. Supreme Court decision weakening federal anti-corruption statutes in McDonnell v. United States nearly upended the cases against Silver and the Skelos family, but with Tuesday’s convictions, the near-perfect record on this spate of prosecutions remains undisturbed.

Once the New York Legislature’s most powerful Republican, the disgraced senator and his son have spent three years fighting bribery charges grounded in nepotism.

In 2010, Adam Skelos already had a six-figure salary when his senator father flaunted his political connections with the heavyweight donor Glenwood Management to help his son afford a $600,000 apartment with a pool, prosecutors said.

Both fell to eight counts of extortion, soliciting bribes, and honest services fraud.

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