Like former state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver earlier this year, former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos was hoping that he would go clean from his retrial.
But Skelos and his son, Adam, received the same verdict as three years ago: guilty.
After three days of deliberation, the jury delivered the verdict on Tuesday afternoon at a federal court in Manhattan, finding the father and son guilty on all charges of corruption and extortion.
“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,” said Robert Khuzami in a statement for the U.S. Attorney’s office. “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.”
According to a Newsday report, the two men are facing up to 110 years in prison.
Skelos, once one of the most powerful men in Albany, was accused of using his position in order to secure jobs and fees worth $300,000 for Adam Skelos from Physicians’ Reciprocal Insurers in Roslyn, New Hyde Park real estate developer Glenwood Management and Arizona-based environmental technology firm AbTech Industries.
Both men were convicted on corruption charges in 2015 with Dean facing five years in prison and Adam with six and a half.
But those charges were overturned late last year following a Supreme Court case that narrowed the definition of what constituted public corruption.
Silver also had his conviction overturned; he returned to trial in May and was again convicted on all counts of bribery, extortion, money laundering and honest services fraud after only two weeks of trial. He is still awaiting his sentencing.
In an attempt to avoid the same fate, Dean Skelos took the stand for his retrial after declining to testify in his first trial.
During his time on the stand, Skelos tried to paint himself as a concerned father who was looking out for a son who struggled in school and suffered from anger issues.
While he did confess to asking several executives to help his son — including “financial” help from Glenwood Management — he denied that he promised these businesses favors in Albany in return.
“Quite frankly, I asked a lot of people to help my son,” he testified earlier.
That assertion was contradicted by earlier testimony from those who worked at the companies, including Physicians’ Reciprocal Insurers CEO Anthony Bonomo.
He said he was afraid to fire Adam Skelos, who was not showing up to work and threatening employees because Bonomo feared retribution from Dean Skelos
Federal prosecutors and the Skelos’ attorney both used their closing arguments to attack the other’s witnesses.
Last week, prosecutor Thomas McKay called Skelos’ testimony “ridiculous” and that he was trying to push blame onto anyone but himself. Earlier this week, Skelos lawyer Robert Gage Jr. said that executives like Bonomo “are liars, and have an enormous incentive to lie,” according to a Newsday report.
The next former Nassau-based politician to go on trial will be former Deputy County Executive Rob Walker in September for obstruction of justice.
Former County Executive Ed Mangano and his wife, Linda, will return to trial for corruption in October after the jury could not reach a decision in May.
Reach reporter Luke Torrance by email at [email protected], by phone at 516-307-1045, ext. 214, or follow him on Twitter @LukeATorrance.