04 May 2015

Now Skelos ……… Whither Cuomo?

The Republican leader of the New York State Senate Dean Skelos, and his son, have been arrested on federal corruption charges:
Dean G. Skelos, the leader of the New York State Senate, and his son were arrested on Monday morning by federal authorities on extortion, fraud and bribe solicitation charges, expanding the corruption investigation that has already changed the face of Albany.

The charges against Senator Skelos, 67, and his son, Adam B. Skelos, 32, were detailed in a six-count criminal complaint filed in United States District Court in Manhattan that details a five-year scheme to “monetize” the senator’s official position by extorting payments through a Long Island-based real estate developer and from an Arizona environmental company, with the expectation that the money paid to Adam Skelos — nearly $220,000 in total — would influence his father’s actions.

“Dean Skelos’s support for certain infrastructure projects and legislation was often based not on what was good for his constituents or good for New York, but rather on what was good for his son’s bank account,” said Preet Bharara, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, who announced the charges with Diego Rodriguez, the head of the New York office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

It is not known if Mr. Skelos, who has led the Senate Republicans since 2008, will resign his leadership role, but he is sure to face difficult questions from within his own ranks about his ability to lead while fighting criminal charges.

The case grew out of a broad federal investigation focused on the younger man’s business dealings, some of which were reported last month by The New York Times, including payments to Adam Skelos by an Arizona environmental company, AbTech Industries.


Adam Skelos made little secret of his father’s efforts to help his business interests. Frustrated that Nassau County was not acting promptly enough to pay AbTech, Adam Skelos suggested his father would retaliate. “I tell you this, the state is not going to do a [expletive] thing for the county,” he said on a recorded phone call in December.

AbTech’s fortunes appeared to weigh on the younger man. In January, in another call that was recorded by the authorities, he told his father that if the company did not succeed, he would “lose the ability to pay for things.”

The investigation, which made use of secretly recorded conversations and wiretaps, revealed how the senator and his son were concerned about electronic surveillance, and illustrated the son’s unsuccessful efforts to thwart it.

As time passed, Senator Skelos and his son also appeared to become increasingly worried about possibly scrutiny from law enforcement. Adam Skelos took to using a “burner” phone, according to the complaint, and told his father he wanted them to speak through a FaceTime video call in an apparent effort to avoid detection.
A burner phone?

Skelos, and his prodigal son, are completely screwed. Their only option is to roll on a bigger fish.

The only bigger fish is Andrew Cuomo, and it's clear that the US attorney is scrutinizing his official actions very closely.

His dad must be spinning in his grave over this.


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