Senator John Sampson Indicted Again

John Sampson. (Photo: Facebook)

John Sampson. (Photo: Facebook)

Brooklyn State Senator John Sampson, already facing corruption charges, is facing a new set of allegations from federal prosecutors this afternoon involving lying and a local liquor store.

The U.S. Attorney’s office today announced that Mr. Sampson, who once led the Senate Democrats, is accused of “making false statements to FBI agents about directing members of his Senate staff to take actions to benefit a Brooklyn liquor store in which Sampson secretly held an ownership interest.”

According to prosecutors, Mr. Sampson was recorded hiding his stake in an unnamed liquor store in its license application.

“During a series of telephone calls that were captured on the Sampson Wiretap, the defendant … told the Partners that [his] ownership interest should not be disclosed in the Application” today’s indictment reads.

Mr. Sampson was also recorded instructing an anonymous government staffer to help the store deal with outstanding tax obligations. The senator even appeared to be aware of the potential illegalities involved, telling the staffer to “do it on your own cell phone and do it on your own time.” 

He is further accused of lying about these incidents and others when speaking to federal agents.

Mr. Sampson is scheduled to be arraigned on the new charge tomorrow in federal court. His lawyer could not immediately be reached for comment on the latest charges.

Mr. Sampson was kicked out of the Democratic conference after the first set of corruption charges. He currently caucuses with no group in the complicated politics that govern the State Senate. 

Update (2:28 p.m.): Mr. Sampson’s attorney issued the following statement in response to the new indictment, insisting the lawmaker “has not betrayed the public’s trust while acting as an elected public official.”

“As we stated when the initial indictment was filed, Senator Sampson has been fully cooperative with the government since we were contacted some months prior to the initial indictment. We will respond fully to the charge brought today in the course of the proceedings to follow,” said lawyer Joshua Colangelo-Bryan.
“We can, however, state categorically that Senator Sampson has not betrayed the public’s trust while acting as an elected public official. Indeed, after years of investigation and two indictments, the government has not charged Senator Sampson with a crime relating to the misuse of his public office. The new charge in the superseding indictment simply alleges an unrecorded statement to an agent of the FBI, which the government chooses not to believe, with respect to a matter for which the government fails to charge any substantive crime,” he added. “Also, there is no good reason why the single new charge in the superseding indictment was not included in the initial indictment.”
“We will have no further comment,” he said.

Additional reporting by Jill Colvin.

View the indictment below: