New York State Sen. Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre), the highest ranking senator in the state, and his son, Adam Skelos, may face corruption charges as early as next week, according to The New York Times.
Skelos, the powerful senate majority leader, and his son are expected to be arrested next week on charges that may include conspiracy, extortion and solicitation of bribes, the Times reported, citing anonymous sources.
The potential charges stem from an ongoing federal probe into corruption in Albany. The investigation is being led by Preet Bharara, the US Attorney for Manhattan, who has been steadfast in his pursuit to clean up the state capital.
The announcement also comes three months after Sheldon Silver, the speaker of the New York State Assembly, was arrested for allegedly running a bribery and kick-back scheme that netted him nearly $5 million, prosecutors said.
The expected charges could cause major upheaval in Albany, which for years was run by Skelos, Silver and Gov. Andrew Cuomo—a trio that has come to be known as “the three men in the room.”
The Skelos’ probe centers around Adam’s business relationship with AbTech Industries, an Arizona-based company that was awarded a multi-million dollar contract by Nassau County despite it not being the lowest bidder, the Times reported.
“The company, AbTech Industries, had hired Adam Skelos as a consultant,” the Times reported. “Prosecutors, some of the people said, have also focused on a $20,000 payment that a title insurance company, American Land Services, made to Adam Skelos, even though he never worked for the company.”
“I have and will continue to cooperate with any inquiry,” Skelos said in a statement in mid-April. Several months earlier he criticized an NBC New York story that revealed Skelos was the subject of a federal investigation, calling it “thinly sourced” and “irresponsible.”
The federal probe sparked an investigation by Acting Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas, whose Public Corruption Bureau is scrutinizing the county’s contracting practices.
Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano was one of several local officials to testify before the grand jury in the Skelos case.
“The County Executive and the County have been notified that they are not targets of the investigation,” Mangano’s spokesman Brian Nevin said at the time, “and will continue to assist law enforcement officials in the event they require additional information regarding the methodology of this public procurement process and the specifics of how the award determination was made.”
Neither the US Attorney’s office or Skelos’ lawyer could be reached for comment.