NY Sen. Leader Out Amid Corruption Scandal

     MANHATTAN (CN) – New York Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos has stepped down from his post amid allegations that he used bribery and extortion to have a developer and hydrofracking contractor line his son’s pockets.
     Last week, federal prosecutors here unveiled a criminal complaint against the now-former state senate majority leader and his son Adam Skelos depicting an intricate scheme that forced investigators to penetrate code words, burner phones and wiretapped phone calls.
     One of those tapped calls allegedly captured the elder Skelos bragging that the perks of office would allow him to “control everything.”
     “I’m going to control who gets on what committees, what legislation goes to the floor, what legislation comes through committees, the budget, everything,” he allegedly boasted.
     A week later, those powers substantially diminished as anonymous Republican sources whispered that he would step down from his post.
     Although lawyers and spokesmen for Skelos did not comment on those reports by press time, his replacement as Senate majority leader quickly released an official statement confirming the changing of the guards.
     Republican John Flanagan, from East Northport in Suffolk County, said he was “proud and humbled” to have been assigned as Skelos’ temporary successor.
     “I thank my colleagues for the confidence they have placed in me,” he said. “With this job comes a responsibility to lead and to listen, and to rebuild the public’s trust.
     “With less than six weeks remaining in this year’s session, I look forward to working with all of the members of this chamber – Democrats and Republicans, upstate and downstate – to do the serious and important work we were all elected to do,” he added.

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