Sen. Thomas Libous, the state Senate’s second-ranking Republican and a Southern Tier political institution for more than two decades, was convicted Wednesday of lying to the FBI, a felony that will force his removal from office.
A jury found Libous, 62, guilty of lying to federal investigators during a 2010 interview at his State Capitol office, where he was quizzed about an alleged scheme to use his influence to get his son at the politically connected Westchester County law firm of Santangelo Randazzo & Mangone.
The verdict was announced Wednesday in White Plains federal court.
“Today, a jury unanimously found that Tom Libous, the second highest ranking New York Senator, told lie after lie to hide the truth from federal agents investigating corruption in Albany,” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement. “Libous’s lies have been exposed, his crime has been proven, and Albany will be the better for it.”
If Skelos was feeling squeezed by the added two criminal counts, better bet he's feeling even more squeezed now that Bharara got a conviction on Libous.
Albany Project thinks the added two counts make it even more likely that Skelos eventually agrees to a plea deal with Bharara and tell what he knows about a certain someone above him on the depth chart.
The Libous conviction increases the pressure on Skelos even more because it means if Skelos goes to trial, he's likely to be convicted - the Skelos charges seem a lot more solid than the one against Libous (and yet Bharara got the conviction.)
But the criminal justice fallout to the conviction is for the near future.
There is some immediate political fallout right now because Libous has been expelled from the state Senate:
His expulsion from the Legislature’s upper chamber leaves Republicans with 31 seats in the 63-seat chamber, one seat short of a majority. But Sen. Simcha Felder, D-Brooklyn, sits with the GOP, which maintains the party’s last grasp on power at the state level.
The traitors Dems in the Independent Democratic Conference are allied with the state Senate GOP too, so between the traitor Dems and Felder, the GOP should remain in control of the state Senate.
But you never know in Albany.