Dean and Adam Skelos found guilty again

Dean Skelos and his wife Gail leave federal court in New York.
Dean Skelos and his wife Gail leave federal court in New York.
Mary Altaffer/AP/Shutterstock
Dean Skelos, center, and his wife Gail leave federal court in New York. The former New York state Senate leader, and his son Adam, were convicted Tuesday of bribery and extortion charges at their federal corruption trial.

Dean and Adam Skelos found guilty again

Preet Bharara’s legacy is on the rebound.
July 17, 2018

Former state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and his son, Adam, were found guilty on federal corruption charges for the second time on Tuesday. The two had been convicted in 2015, as the elder Skelos had used his political influence to bully executives into hiring Skelos the younger for no-show or low-show jobs. Those convictions were vacated late last year, after the Supreme Court restricted the definition of public corruption in the case McDonnell v. United States. However, even with a limited definition of corruption, the Skeloses were found guilty again.

These guilty verdicts mark the seventh and eighth high-profile corruption convictions in the state this year. Joe Percoco, a former top aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, was found guilty of corruption charges in March. Former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver – who had also had his corruption conviction overturned – was found guilty again in April. Former Cuomo economic development guru Alain Kaloyeros and business executives Louis Ciminelli, Joseph Girardi and Steven Aiello were convicted on corruption charges earlier this month.

This conviction is a victory for former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who had pursued the cases against Silver and the Skeloses before he was fired by President Donald Trump in 2017. Bharara had been a thorn in Adam Skelos’ side, according to wiretap evidence gathered by the federal government.

Federal prosecutors are on a hot streak in getting corruption convictions this year, and politics in Albany may be getting a little bit cleaner for it.

Grace Segers
is City & State’s digital reporter. She writes daily content on New York City and New York state politics.