Among the ill-gotten perks of being Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos’ son was a $100,000 no-show job at a malpractice insurer, according to a six-count indictment handed up today against Mr. Skelos and his son Adam.
A federal grand jury indicted the Skelos’ on the same counts as those outlined in U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara last month—one count of conspiracy to commit extortion, one count of conspiracy to commit fraud, two counts of fraud and two counts of solicitation of bribes or gratuities.
But while the charges remain the same, the no-show job is a new detail, unmentioned in Mr. Bharara’s lengthy complaint. In explaining the conspiracy charge, the indictment alleges Adam Skelos earned $100,000 in salary and benefits from a medical malpractice insurer that was actively lobbying his father, then one of the most powerful men in state government.
The indictment lists the no-show job as one of benefit earned through the Skelos’ effort to “monetize” the position of Senate Majority Leader. It’s unclear exactly how the no-show job, and the malpractice insurer, fit in to the larger scheme outlined by both Mr. Bharara and in the indictment—which focuses the elder Mr. Skelos 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.
While Mr. Skelos, like former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, at first vowed he would not leave his leadership post, he was eventually forced to step down, with new Senate Leader John Flanagan taking over his spot. Mr. Skelos and Mr. Silver were two of Albany’s powerful “three men in a room”—the third is Gov. Andrew Cuomo—a power structure Mr. Bharara has derided.
While some political corruption cases are not announced until indictments are unsealed, in the case of Mr. Skelos and of Mr. Silver, Mr. Bharara chose to bring criminal complaints to court on his own first before turning the case over to a grand jury. The charges against Mr. Silver changed slightly in a grand jury indictment, and then again with a superseding indictment.
The next hearing in the case is scheduled for June 3 in Manhattan federal court.