Ex-State Senate Democratic Leader Convicted on Corruption Charges

John Sampson was found guilty of lying to the FBI and threatening to "take out" potential cooperating witnesses.

State Senator John Sampson. (Photo: Facebook)
State Senator John Sampson. (Photo: Facebook)

Brooklyn State Senator John Sampson—who led the body’s Democratic conference from 2009 through 2012—was today found guilty of lying to federal agents and threatening those who might cooperate with them.

Sign Up For Our Daily Newsletter

By clicking submit, you agree to our <a rel="nofollow noreferer" href="http://observermedia.com/terms">terms of service</a> and acknowledge we may use your information to send you emails, product samples, and promotions on this website and other properties. You can opt out anytime.

See all of our newsletters

Mr. Sampson, who will have to give up his seat in Albany, was initially accused in 2013 of skimming money from foreclosed properties he oversaw as an attorney and using some of the embezzled cash to fund his failed 2005 bid to become Brooklyn district attorney. But today a jury found him guilty today of accusations leveled last year that he had knowingly made false statements to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents and had threatened to “take out” witnesses who had threatened to testify against him.

Mr. Sampson did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Senate Democrats voted to eject Mr. Sampson from their conference after the federal probe into his financial dealings arose in 2012, and replaced him with Westchester State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins.

Mr. Sampson is the second state senator convicted on federal corruption charges this week. Former Republican deputy majority leader Thomas Libous had to vacate his seat after also being found guilty on Wednesday of lying to the FBI when it was investigating his dealings with a law firm that hired his son.

Potential candidates to replace Mr. Sampson are former Bloomberg administration official Samuel Pierre and 1199 SEIU political director Dell Smitherman, who unsuccessfully sought to unseat Mr. Sampson last year.

A special election is likely to be held in November on the date of general elections.

Ex-State Senate Democratic Leader Convicted on Corruption Charges