1. In April, New York state Sen. Malcolm Smith and New York City Councilman Dan Halloran were indicted for trying to rig the mayoral election.
Smith, a Democrat, allegedly enlisted Halloran to bribe the chairmen of the Bronx and Queens GOP, who were also indicted, to sign a special document to allow him to run for mayor on the Republican ticket. Halloran also allegedly pocketed thousands of dollars from the scheme.
Smith’s colleagues, constituents and others called on the oft-embattled senator to resign, but he vowed to keep coming back to work. And in fact, he did.
So the other senators kicked Smith out of his conferences, stripped him of his leadership rolls, and forced him to sit in the back with the freshmen.
2. The same week Smith and Halloran were indicted, Assemblyman Eric Stevenson was indicted in a separate case for taking $20,000 in bribes.
The bribes were given to Stevenson by other conspirators to sponsor legislation to help weed out competition for their Bronx daycare centers.
3. How was Stevenson caught? He was secretly recorded by fellow lawmaker Nelson Castro, who agreed to be an informant for the Bronx DA after HE was secretly indicted for perjury in 2009.
Further details about Castro’s own perjury charge have yet to come to light. He’s since resigned his post in the assembly.
4. Soon fears became reality. A few weeks later it was revealed that ex-state Sen. Shirley Huntley, who lost a 2012 primary election after she was indicted for conspiracy, had secretly recorded meetings with several elected officials and others.
Huntley didn’t end up getting a cooperation agreement for spying on her colleagues because prosecutors didn’t believe she was fully honest about the crimes she’d been indicted for.
6. If there’s been one constant through all the years of corruption that’s plagued New York politics, it’s been Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.
But the 69-year-old leader of New York’s lower house has now found himself in hot water. He’s been sued for using taxpayer money to secretly settle a sexual harassment lawsuit brought against former Assemblyman Vito Lopez.
The lawsuit also alleges Silver’s secret handling of the case allowed for more abuse to occur. Lopez has denied the sexual harassment charges and is currently running for City Council. New York’s ethics panel, the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, has come under fire for not properly investigating Silver’s involvement in the harassment allegations. Silver’s appointee to the panel, Patrick Bulgaro, recently resigned.
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