On May 12, Senate Leader Dean Skelos was sentenced to five years in prison for bribery, extortion and conspiracy charges in December for “running what prosecutors called the ‘Skelos shakedown playbook’ on companies that were dependent on state legislation.”
US Attorney Preet Bharara responded to the sentence by saying:
“In the span of just 16 months, we have seen the arrest, prosecution, conviction, and sentencing of both leaders of the New York State legislature. The nearly simultaneous convictions of Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos, whose corruption crimes were laid bare during fair and public trials, have no precedent. And while Silver and Skelos deserve their prison sentences, the people of New York deserve better,” Bharara, whose office prosecuted the cases against both legislative leaders, said in a statement.
“These cases show — and history teaches — that the most effective corruption investigations are those that are truly independent and not in danger of either interference or premature shutdown. That will continue to be our guiding principle in exposing and punishing corruption throughout New York.”