Dean G. Skelos, the leader of the New York State Senate, and his son were arrested early on Monday by federal authorities on corruption charges, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
Mr. Skelos, 67, and his son, Adam B. Skelos, 32, surrendered at the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s New York office in Lower Manhattan, the people said.The charges against them were expected to be detailed in a criminal complaint filed in United States District Court in Manhattan and will probably include conspiracy, extortion and bribe solicitation, a person with knowledge of the matter has said. The accusations stem from a federal investigation focused on the younger man’s business dealings, some of which were reported last month by The New York Times.The case against Senator Skelos, a Long Island Republican who was first elected to the Senate in 1984, signals a significant widening of a federal corruption investigation focused on Albany, and will almost certainly throw the legislative session into further chaos. It comes roughly three months after federal bribery and kickback charges led Assemblyman Sheldon Silver, a Democrat, to step down from his post as speaker.
Two amigos down - one to go.
That third amigo - Governor Cuomo - will be the toughest one to take out.
But do not forget that the executive director of the Moreland Commission, Regina Calcaterra, was feeding Cuomo's office everything that the commission was investigating - which means she had to be feeding them the dirt the Moreland Commission had on Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos.
Silver's arrest was based on, in part, information gathered by the Moreland Commission and word is the same is true of the Skelos arrest.
Remember that Cuomo made a deal with Silver and Skelos to shut down Moreland in return for an on-time budget deal.
It is unfathomable that Cuomo could not have known what the Moreland Commission had on Silver and Skelos, not with Calcaterra updating Cuomo's office in literally real time about the commission's work.
And yet, Cuomo still made a deal with Silver and Cuomo to shut down the Moreland Commission in return for a budget deal.
Now I'm not a lawyer, but it seems to me if you help sidetrack an investigation into corrupt officials and/or lawmakers by shutting down that investigation, you open yourself up to obstruction charges.
Second, Cuomo's office had subpoenas to his donors pulled back despite public claims that the commission could look at anything and anybody - including the governor.
That Cuomo wanted to keep his donors and himself from investigation suggests he had something to hide and I can't imagine a prosecutor like Preet Bharara would fail to see that.
If the feds picked up that strain of the Moreland Commission investigation, the likelihood is, Cuomo's got something to worry about it - otherwise, why have the investigations into his donors derailed?
Finally, Bharara is an ambitious man who made his bones working for Chuck Schumer - a politician who loathes Andrew Cuomo.
Rumor has it that Bharara may want to run for mayor of NYC or governor of NY State in the future - and there's no better way to pave the way for a political career then to take out the current one who presides over a culture of corruption so pervasive that both leaders of the legislature have been arrested on corruption while he was working with them to hide that corruption (i.e., closing down Moreland.)
If there were ever a prosecutor who might want to take the third amigo and actually have the guts to do it, it's this one.
We'll see what Bharara says later when he talks about the Skelos charges.