ICYMI: The quotable Preet Bharara

ICYMI: The quotable Preet Bharara

ICYMI: The quotable Preet Bharara
February 9, 2016

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara spoke at two events on Monday during his visit to Albany and had a lot to say about the way Albany operates. Here are a few quotes City & State thought were worth highlighting:


On the Dean Skelos and Sheldon Silver corruption cases …

“Both of those cases, by the way, were awful and sad stories. No one says that those two men never did anything good or for their state, but they threw it all away by forgetting that their jobs we’re not meant to be vehicles for massive personal profit.”

“If you attended any of the trials or viewed any of the evidence – and I spent a lot of time at both trials – you would have seen how much of an overwhelming sense of entitlement pervaded both leaders’ thinking and conduct. Entitlement to money, entitlement to power.”

“It sounds simple, but it’s really hard to be a whistleblower and to go against the tide. There was evidence in our trial – it’s very sad – about what happened to people that dared to challenge the leadership. Look what happens to the institution overall when people year after year after year learn the lesson of challenging power. Over time, if enough people stand up to that, it doesn’t need to be like that.”

“(Adam Skelos) calls up his father and he expresses his frustration about not being able to talk on the phone really about their thing. And he says, I believe, ‘It’s really frustrating. It’s like f-ing Preet Bharara is listening to every f-ing phone call’ … like that one.”


On the way Albany operates …

“I’m sure you hear this a lot, but the scandal in Albany isn’t what’s illegal, it’s what’s legal.”

“In the Silver and Skelos cases, just because you dress up a bribe or dress up a kickback as a legal referral fee, doesn’t make it so.”

“Albany is unquestionably suffering from a crisis of corruption and that’s part of the reason I’m here talking to all of you. The purpose of my being here is to further raise awareness of the problem of corruption and to remind everyone that there are tough cops on the beat, so maybe some people will think twice to make a case for the importance of good government.”


On the Siena poll that found 89 percent of New Yorkers think corruption is a serious problem …

“How often is it the case that 89 percent of the public agrees on anything like that on any issue? I believe that same poll said only four percent of New Yorkers thought that my office has gone too far. I think more people think the Earth is flat.”

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Ashley Hupfl