Their trials grabbed headlines for weeks, as evidence revealed they were more contingent-fee kings than state legislators. In Sheldon Silver’s case, the defense argued his prosecutors didn’t understand “how sausage was made in Albany.” In Dean Skelos’s case, benevolence. …… defined in English history as a forced contribution to the sovereign, added $300,000 to his son’s coffers.
End of story? Not quite, and at the conclusion of Dean’s trial, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, asked an important question. ”How many prosecutions are needed before Albany gives the people of New York the honest government they deserve?” My answer, to quote Buzz Lightyears’ trademark cry, in the movie Toy Story “To infinity, and beyond!” The convictions of both former majority leaders were predictable, Albany is a culture of money, plain and simple. The full spectrum of concerns that facilitates dishonesty needs to be understood and properly reacted to in court, or otherwise.
What is my opinion about the Skelos verdict? The jury had no other choice than to find him guilty. The evidence against him and Adam was overwhelming. The loss of his representation will have serious consequences on the balance of power in Albany. In defense of Dean, as parents we all try to do our best for our children. In my day, it was giving out Republican campaign literature to secure a highly competitive lifeguard job at Jones Beach.