NEW YORK – The leader of the New York state Senate surrendered to authorities on Monday to face several corruption charges, including extortion and soliciting bribes.
The charges against 67 year old Dean Skelos (R-Long Island) stem from a federal investigation into the awarding of a $12 million contract to a company that hired his son – 32 year old Adam Skelos – who is also facing charges.
The two men surrendered at the FBI’s offices in lower Manhattan as a criminal complaint was unsealed against them in federal court, where they appeared later in the day.
Authorities said Dean Skelos has used his position as a carrot since at least 2010, taking official actions in return for payments to his son.
The complaint also aid the Senate leader monetized his position by extorting money from others, including hundreds of thousands of dollars from a senior executive of a major real estate development firm who was cooperating with the government. According to court papers, some evidence was obtained through court-authorized wiretaps on cellphones used by the father and son.
In a statement, Dean Skelos said he expected to be exonerated at trial.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara – who was responsible for arresting former Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver earlier this year – also headed up the investigation against Skelos.