Former Senate Leader Dean Skelos arranged to get his son Adam Skelos a job at a medical malpractice insurance company with business before the state—where the son threatened a supervisor and said he didn’t have to show up to work because of his father’s position—according to new charges brought by a grand jury.
Mr. Skelos—a Long Island Republican who remains a state senator but stepped down from his leadership post—and his son both face two new charges, one of extortion and one of soliciting bribes, in a new superseding indictment handed up in federal court this afternoon. The charges provide further detail about a scheme to obtain income and health insurance for Adam Skelos from an unnamed medical malpractice insurance company that was alluded to in a late-May grand jury indictment that expanded upon the charges first brought by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.
The new charges are in addition to bribery and extortion charges connected to two other alleged corruption schemes, dealing with a real estate developer and an environmental technology company.
The new counts allege that while a the malpractice insurance administrator was actively lobbying Dean Skelos on legislation “critical to its business,” Mr. Skelos repeatedly solicited the CEO of the company to direct money to his son Adam—first by asking the CEO to direct business to a court-reporting service that employed Adam Skelos’ then-girlfriend. In August 2012, at a fundraising event, Mr. Skelos, his son and the CEO were all together, and Adam Skelos told the CEO he needed a source of income and health insurance, according to the indictment—so the CEO agreed to hire him, “in part because the CEO understood from Dean Skelos’s repeated requests relating to the court-reporting service that Dean Skelos wanted the CEO to assist Adam Skelos financially.”
The CEO offered the younger Mr. Skelos a job in sales that paid $78,000 a year, even though he wasn’t licensed to sell insurance, and Mr. Skelos accepted, according to the indictment—but never showed up.
A week after he was hired, according to the indictment, Adam Skelos’ supervisor called called him to set up a meeting about his schedule, “given that Adam Skelos had not reported for work for more than one hour during the previous four days.”
Adam Skelos didn’t exactly take the meeting well, according to the court document.
“Adam Skelos called back Supervisor-1 and threatened to ‘smash in’ Supervisor-1’s head, and told Supervisor-1 that Supervisor-1 would ‘never amount to anything’ and that ‘guys like’ Supervisor-1 ‘couldn’t shine [Adam Skelos’s] shoes,'” according to the indictment.
The younger Mr. Skelos went on to say he didn’t need to show up to work because his father was the Majority Leader of the State Senate, according to the indictment.
The CEO of the company later got a call from Dean Skelos, asking why his son was being harassed by his supervisor, and was told by the CEO that his son wasn’t showing up to work, had been “verbally abusive” to his supervisor, and told his supervisor he was entitled to special treatment, according to the indictment. The elder Mr. Skelos responded by telling the CEO to resolve any issues so his son could stay employed, the court document says.
The CEO believed he “could lose access to Dean Skelos and Dean Skelos could take adverse action on legislation important” to him if he didn’t keep his son employed, according to the indictment.
Adam Skelos reported for work for three or more hours on only five days during a four-month period, according to indictment.
Eventually, his work shifted to a consulting agreement that paid $36,000 annually for Adam Skelos to make 100 calls a week—but Mr. Skelos “did not complete even a small fraction” of those calls, according to the indictment.
The malpractice insurance scheme is one of three now outlined in the grand jury’s indictment. Dean Skelos is also accused of directing a real estate development company and environmental technology company to steer business to his son in exchange for favorable treatment in Albany. Mr. Skelos and his son allegedly threatened to block a multi-million contract with Nassau County for the environmental firm unless payments to Adam Skelos, who allegedly said himself he knew little about the firm’s work, were increased.
Mr. Skelos’ arrest, coming shortly after the arrest of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a Democrat, on corruption charges, tossed Albany into legislative chaos earlier this year.