Ex-N.Y. Senate Leader Pleads Not Guilty to Corruption Charges

Former New York State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos pleaded not guilty to charges that he exploited his position to enrich his son Adam.

The two men were arrested early last month on corruption charges, and federal prosecutors last week unsealed an indictment with additional allegations against the Republican state senator. Adam Skelos and his father pleaded not guilty through attorneys Monday before U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood in Manhattan.

The two “engaged in a corrupt scheme” to cash in on Dean Skelos’s position at the helm of the Senate, according to the indictment. They pocketed hundreds of thousands of dollars from campaign donors and firms with business before the state, according to the indictment.

They were indicted three months after ex-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a Democrat, who is accused of running unrelated kickback schemes netting almost $4 million.

Skelos and Silver were among the most powerful politicians in New York.

The Skeloses are accused of demanding payoffs from companies with business in Albany, the state capital, as a way to enrich Adam. According to the indictment, Dean Skelos, 67, pressured a medical-malpractice insurer that had business before the state to give Adam a no-show job and $100,000 in cash and health benefits.

The company wasn’t identified.

The two men, both of Rockville Centre, New York, face as long as 20 years in prison if convicted of extortion, fraud and other charges.

The case is U.S. v. Skelos, 15-cr-00317, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

With assistance from Chris Dolmetsch in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan.