ALBANY – The federal corruption complaint against Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and his son is “nothing more than a press release,” the embattled Long Island Republican said Tuesday.
On Monday night, Senate Republicans made the decision to retain Skelos as their leader and by Tuesday morning, Skelos continued to declare his innocence, as well as his effectiveness in guiding the GOP small majority through the final weeks of the legislative session.
Skelos and his son Adam turned themselves in to federal authorities Monday morning after being slapped with a criminal complaint accusing them of bribery, extortion and other charges. Prosecutors claim Skelos allegedly worked to “monetize” his office by doling out extensive legislative favors to his son’s business clients.
The complaint is based on a several pieces of evidence including wiretaps and cooperating witnesses.
On Tuesday most Republican senators – including local representative Cathy Young – stood by Skelos, claiming he is innocent until proven guilty.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, has yet to comment on the arrest, despite requests from reporters.
The charges against Skelos, like those that led to the January arrest of Sheldon Silver, were brought by U.S. Attorney for the Southern District Preet Bharara, who is also reportedly looking into Cuomo and his cancellation of the Moreland Commission panel on public corruption.