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Prosecutor: Ex-NY Senate Boss Extorted Bribes To Enrich Son

Former New York state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos
Karen DeWitt
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A prosecutor says former New York Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos abused his office to line the pockets of his adult son.

Opening statements began Tuesday in the corruption trial of Skelos and his son, Adam.   Assistant U.S. Attorney Tatiana Martins told jurors Dean Skelos extorted businesses to win Adam consulting fees and a no-show job that made him $300,000. She said that in exchange, the Long Island Republican backed legislation that helped the businesses.

The father and son say they are innocent.  The trial is coinciding with a similar but separate corruption case against one of the state's top Democrats, former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. He has also pleaded not guilty and maintains his innocence.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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