Judge Rules to Unseal Shirley Huntley Wiretap Names

Shirley Huntley (Photo: Wikimedia)

Shirley Huntley (Photo: Wikimedia)

The names of all of the lawmakers secretly recorded by disgraced ex-State Sen. Shirley Huntley will be unsealed tomorrow, a federal judge has ruled.

The decision came following a petition by members of the press eager to find out who Ms. Huntley had recorded while wearing a wire last year. Documents filed in federal court last week ahead of Ms. Huntley’s sentencing, revealed that, in an effort to reduce her sentence on embezzlement charges, she had agreed to wear a wire to tape conversations with fellow lawmakers.

According to court documents, between June and August 2012, Ms. Huntley recorded meetings with nine different people, including seven elected officials and ex-staffers. Recordings with an individual identified as “Sate Senator #1” and two other elected officials “did yield evidence useful to law enforcement authorities,” the papers said. Senator #1 is believed to be State Sen. John Sampson, who was arrested Monday on unrelated charges.

In a colorful ruling, Judge Jack Weinstein, said that lawmakers who dealt with Ms. Huntley should not be surprised to see their names in print.

“It is well known that widespread investigations of New York State legislators and related officials are being conducted by the government,” he wrote in his decision, which was first reported by Capitol Confidential. “Every legislator who has conversed with this defendant will necessarily assume that he or she was recorded under the supervision of the FBI.”

He also argued lawmakers should be prepared to face scrutiny. “To paraphrase President Harry Truman, ‘those who cannot stand the heat should stay out of the kitchen,'” he wrote.

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which had tried to block the release, said it is considering filing an appeal.

“We are assessing our options,” he said.