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New York News

Former NYS Senate Leader Sentenced To Prison

Former New York state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos
Karen DeWitt
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Former New York state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos

Former New York state Senate leader Dean Skelos was sentenced to four years and three months in prison Wednesday, after he and his son Adam were convicted on charges of extortion and bribery.

Skelos, a Republican, was convicted of illegally using his political connections to get jobs for his son Adam from companies that did business with the state. Adam was paid $300,000 for the employment, even though in some of the positions prosecutors showed that he seldom did any work. 

It is the second time the father and son have been sentenced to prison, the first conviction was overturned on appeal, but they were reconvicted of the crimes earlier this year.

Federal Judge Kimba Wood told Skelos he caused “immeasurable damage” to New Yorkers’ respect for state government, but that she was giving him one year less than the previous sentence she gave to him, citing Skelos age of 70 and his health issues. But she told Skelos she tacked on the three additional months because he lied on the witness stand.

Defense attorneys had sought leniency, saying Dean Skelos provides emotional support for his two autistic grandchildren, who he is now raising, along with his wife.  

The current senate leader, Republican John Flanagan, in a statement says there must be “zero tolerance for any politician who abuses the public trust." Flanagan says while he served with Skelos and is sorry for his family, the former Senate Leader must “pay for the crimes that he committed.”

Adam Skelos, at a separate sentencing later in the day, received four years in prison.

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