Disgraced ex-New York State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) was sentenced Wednesday following his federal corruption retrial conviction.
U.S. Judge Kimba Wood sentenced the 70-year-old former senator to four years and three months in prison and ordered him to pay a $500,000 fine. The former lawmaker’s son, Adam Skelos, was sentenced to four years in prison for his role in the scheme.
A jury had found father and son guilty in July of extortion, wire fraud and other counts following their second trial at Manhattan federal court. Their defense attorneys had their 2015 convictions overturned on the grounds that the U.S. Supreme Court had limited the scope what defines corruption by elected officials.
Prosecutors said Dean pressured Roslyn-based medical malpractice firm Physicians’ Reciprocal Insurers (PRI), New Hyde Park-based developer Glenwood Management and Arizona-based storm water filter manufacturer AbTech Industries for no-show jobs and payments for his son in exchange for favorable legislative treatment. All three companies had business before the state at the time.
The former senator was once the top-elected Republican in the state, the most powerful lawmaker on Long Island and one of the so-called three men in a room — the other being Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state Assembly Speaker — that shape the state’s legislative and budget agenda.
The second conviction came shortly after former Cuomo aides were convicted in a separate corruption case and Skelos’ former counterpart, ex-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan), was also convicted again at his recent retrial. Skelos and Silver were originally on trial at the same time.
In 2016, Judge Kimba Wood had sentenced Dean to five years in prison and Adam to 6 1/2 years in prison. But execution of their first sentence was stayed pending the appeal.
The biggest difference between the two trials was the fact that the former senator opted to testify in his own defense this time around. Adam once again declined to exercise that right. The defense is expected to appeal the conviction a second time.