NEW YORK – After attempts at a plea bargain failed, the corruption trial of former New York State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and his son Adam began in federal court in New York City on November 17, the New York Daily News reported.
Skelos stepped down as Majority Leader after he and his son were arrested in May, but retained his State Senate seat, in Nassau County’s District 9. Skelos was charged with used his position to extort payments for his Adam. Both father and son claimed innocence.
What the defendants did to line the pockets of the Skelos family wasn’t just wrong, and it wasn’t just politics as usual; it was corrupt and it was criminal,” US Attorney Tatiana R. Martins, who is prosecuting the case, said, the New York Times reported. “And because the defendants knew they were committing crimes, they tried to hide it.”
The indictment charges that both Skeloses arranged for Adam to receive more than $300,000 in bribes, kickbacks and other payments in three separate schemes, the Times reported: “In one, they extorted payments from a major Manhattan developer, Glenwood management; in another, with Glenwood’s assistance, they got Adam a job as a government relations consultant at an environmental technology company called AbTech Industries; and in the third, they got Adam Skelos another position, a no-show job at a medical malpractice insurer called Physicians’ Reciprocal Insurers (PRI).”
On November 18, day two of the trial, federal wiretaps were played in court, with Adam Skelos’ voice heard threatening his PRI supervisor, Christopher Curcio. “Talk to me like that again and I’m going to smash you’re ****ing head in,” Skelos is heard saying, the News reported.
That conversation took place last December, the News reported. Skelos had gotten the $78,000 a year job in January 2013, after both he and Dean told Dean’s longtime pal PRI CEO Anthony Bonomo that he desperately needed a job, the News reported.
Adam was hired as a full-time project manager to work 35 hours per week, but Curcio’s log showed that Skelos came in to work at 1PM, went to lunch, and never returned. When Curcio complained to Bonomo, wrote the News, Bonomo said he would handle it.
When Curcio would complain to Adam Skelos, wrote the News, the latter retorted: “Do you know who I am? I’m Adam Skelos,” and “guys like you aren’t fit to shine my shoes.”
The wiretaps also revealed a telephone conversation between the Skeloses, both furiously reacting to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s decision not to allow fracking in the state. He’s such a p***y, Adam fumed, and Dean warned he’d “get even” with him by running against him for governor. “No more buddy buddy,” Dean said, “he’s full of s***.”