Ex-Senate leader, son get prison terms

NEW YORK (AP) – A once-powerful New York politician convicted of using his position as Senate majority leader to pressure companies to provide hundreds of thousands of dollars for his son was sentenced today to five years in prison by a judge who decried the “immeasurable damage” they had caused.

The sentence for Dean Skelos, announced with a flurry of criticism by U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood, brought an end to the latest in a spate of corruption cases that have roiled Albany. His son, Adam, was sentenced to 6 years in prison. Both were convicted last year of extortion, conspiracy and bribery.

The sentences were significantly lower than prosecutors had asked for, and the judge noted that the dollar value in the case “pales in comparison” to that of former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who was sentenced this month to 12 years in prison in his $5 million bribery case.

But Wood told Skelos: “The effect of your crime has much in common with him.” She calculated the total dollar amount loss of his crime at $680,120, and she fined him $500,000. She also ordered him to forfeit over $300,000.

“You have caused immeasurable damage to New Yorkers’ confidence in the integrity of government,” she said.

The judge said the 68-year-old Skelos “repeatedly threatened and pressured” big companies to help his son, portraying him as destitute even while he was earning well over $200,000 annually.

More on this story will appear in Friday’s print and online editions.

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