Attorney Preet Bharara moved “a giant step closer” to Gov. Cuomo late last week with an indictment that alleges insurance exec Anthony Bonomo, a top Cuomo contributor whom the governor made chairman of the New York Racing Association, gave a lucrative no-show job to state Sen. Dean Skelos’ son, sources have told The Post.
“Bonomo is Cuomo’s guy, and he wouldn’t offer anything to Skelos’ kid without first making sure it was OK with the governor or his people,’’ said a senior state Democrat.
“The fact that Bonomo, like Dorego, is cooperating with Bharara brings the whole investigation a giant step closer to Cuomo,’’ the Democrat added, referring to Charles Dorego, a top official at Cuomo megacontributor Leonard Litwin’s Glenwood Management.
Glenwood, a real-estate development firm, has been linked to the Skelos indictment and the indictment of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. Dorego is cooperating with Bharara’s probe.
Others at the Capitol agreed Bharara appeared to be moving closer to charging Cuomo and/or one or more of his top aides in his investigation of corruption in state government, which originated with Cuomo’s abrupt closure last year of his Moreland Act Commission as it was closing in on evidence of wrongdoing.
“This is a drip by drip that’s getting closer and closer to Cuomo, with Bonomo and Dorego providing prosecutors with an inside look at how the corrupt Albany system works,’’ explained a second senior state political figure.
The indictment said a state-regulated insurance company — identified as the Bonomo-run Physicians Reciprocal Insurers (PRI) — gave Adam Skelos a no-show job worth more than $100,000 at a time when it was lobbying Sen. Skelos on legislative matters.
A spokesman for the Roslyn, LI-based insurer said Friday that Bonomo — who with family members contributed nearly $250,000 to Cuomo’s campaign committee — and others at the company “are fully cooperating with the US Attorney’s Office.”
Several sources at the Capitol said Bonomo’s alleged willingness to provide a no-show job to Adam Skelos was further proof of Cuomo’s close political ties to Sen. Skelos.
“If you needed any further proof of Skelos’ ties to Cuomo and his people, this job from Bonomo’s company for Skelos’ kid should provide it,” said a top GOP official.
Bonomo cooperating with the feds is bad enough for Cuomo.
But then there's this:
Some in Albany think Skelos will eventually plead - here's NT2 blog from a few weeks ago:
Not everyone can hack the hard core world that is state politics and government today.
Silver can. Deposed, he won’t quit. He sits in the back of the chamber and seethes. He lives for the day when he can testify and tell people how crazy it is to think that a grant for cancer research could be a bribe to get a client referral nine years later.
So can Libous. They investigated him for seven years and the best they could come up with was a charge that he lied when he said he didn’t remember how his son got a job. Then they went after the son and charged him with nine counts of which two counts stuck. It’s a tax offense for which an ordinary person would have to re-file and pay a penalty, but the son is going to jail for it. Libous struggles with both cases and with cancer and complications from back surgery, but still he won’t give in.
And then there’s Skelos. He’s not steely like Silver and Libous. He’s a mess. He can’t think clearly. Over the weekend, he dissembled to the point of telling colleagues that if they forced him out, he’d quit and they’d lose their majority. Only after everyone reassured him that they’d stand by him did he relent, but this isn’t a situation in which anybody thinks he’ll have the stomach to continue the fight. He’ll make a deal with the Feds. He’ll do anything to make it easier on himself and his son.
Something similar happened with Brian Meera. He’d had it good for a long time and was approaching retirement. Even though he didn’t think he’d done anything wrong, he wasn’t going to take a chance. He made a deal to protect himself.
If Skelos looks to plead, Preet's going to want some information on somebody big.
I would bet Skelos has some dope on Cuomo the feds would find interesting.
Couple that with the Bonomo and Dorego cooperation, and you interesting times in Albany.