Adam Skelos, son of former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, allegedly threatened his boss after being questioned about not showing up for work.
“He said, ‘Guys like you don’t amount to anything. And if you talk to me like that again, I’ll smash your [expletive] head in,'” said Adam’s boss at the Roslyn-based Physicians Reciprocal Insurers, Christopher Curcio, according to Newsday.
Curcio’s testimony was part of the first week of the retrial of Dean and Adam Skelos at a courthouse in Manhattan.
The two men are again facing charges that Dean Skelos used his power in Albany to secure jobs and fees worth $300,000 for Adam Skelos from Physicians’ Reciprocal Insurers, New Hyde Park real estate developer Glenwood Management, and Arizona-based environmental technology firm AbTech Industries.
The father and son were convicted on corruption charges in 2015, but the conviction was overturned last September by a federal appeals court, citing a U.S. Supreme Court case involving former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, which narrowed the definition of an “official act” and what constitutes corruption.
That ruling by the Supreme Court was also used to overturn the corruption conviction of Democratic Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who was accused of using his power to secure payments from Glenwood Management and others.
At his retrial, Silver was found guilty last month on all seven counts of bribery, extortion, money laundering and honest services fraud. He remains free on bail and will be sentenced on July 13, according to The New York Times.
Curcio testified that Adam Skelos only had a job to secure his father’s support for a bill in Albany that was crucial to the company’s survival, Newsday reported. Skelos was only required to work two days a week and received $78,000 in annual salary as an insurance salesman, although he never actually sold any insurance because he failed to pass an exam required to obtain a sales license.
According to Newsday, Adam Skelos’ lawyer, Julian Brod, said that his client was “truly ashamed” of his actions toward Curcio. He also said that Skelos was hired because he was an old family friend, not because of the elder Skelos’ position in government.
“You are going to hear some ugly things in this trial,” Brod told the jury, according to Newsday. “I beg you to keep an open mind.”
Last Thursday a wiretapped phone call was played from December 2014, where Adam Skelos screamed in anger after learning that Gov. Andrew Cuomo had banned hydrofracking. Dean Skelos said at that time he would run against Cuomo.
“I’d be so proud if you beat his [expletive],” Adam Skelos told his father, according to Newsday.
On Tuesday, Thomas K. Dwyer testified that he was instructed by a Glenwood Management executive to pay Adam Skelos $20,000 for no work. Like Curcio the day before, Dwyer said that the payment was made to curry favor with Dean Skelos, according to Newsday.
Reach reporter Luke Torrance by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone at 516-307-1045, ext. 214, or follow him on Twitter @LukeATorrance.