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Dean Skelos and His Son Face New Bribery Charges

JULY 21, 2015


Senator Dean G. Skelos, left, and his son Adam Skelos in May. They were charged on Tuesday with additional counts of soliciting bribes. CreditEduardo Munoz/Reuters

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It should have been a standard conversation, right out of the human resources playbook: Adam Skelos, a new employee, had regularly skipped work in his very first week, logging about one hour during the previous four days.​
The conversation did not go well.​
According to an expanded indictment filed Tuesday by federal prosecutors against Adam Skelos and his father, State Senator Dean G. Skelos of Long Island, Adam Skelos allegedly threatened to "smash in" his boss's head. He then told the supervisor at the malpractice insurance company that he would never amount to anything, and that guys like him could not even shine his shoes.​
The superseding indictment added two new charges of soliciting bribes from a Long Island company that had lobbied the state in return for favorable legislation. The new charges came almost three months after Senator Skelos and his sonwere arrested in New York by federal authorities on extortion, fraud and bribe solicitation charges.​
In the initial criminal complaint filed in May, Senator Skelos, the former Republican majority leader, was accused of taking official actions to benefit AbTech Industries, an Arizona-based environmental company, and Glenwood Management, a New York developer that had financial ties to AbTech. Senator Skelos agreed to do so, according to the complaint, as long as the companies paid his son.​
The new indictment includes the earlier charges, painting a picture of Adam Skelos as an entitled son who looked to take advantage of his father's powerful perch atop the Senate.​
"During the same time period that the malpractice insurance company was lobbying defendant Dean Skelos, Dean Skelos repeatedly solicited the C.E.O. to direct money to Adam Skelos, the defendant," federal authorities wrote in the superseding complaint.​
Federal authorities say Adam Skelos relied on his father's name to land the job at the malpractice insurance firm and, once there, told his boss he did not have to come to work regularly because of who his father was.​
In January 2013, not long after Adam Skelos's rocky call with the supervisor, federal authorities say that Senator Skelos called the chief executive of the malpractice insurance company, demanding to know why Adam Skelos was being "harassed." In a subsequent call, the executive explained how the senator's son had not shown up to work and then threatened the supervisor when confronted about it. Senator Skelos told the executive that the company needed to sort out its issues with Adam so that he could remain at the firm.​
The company, which was not named in the complaint, was worried that if it did not do as Senator Skelos advised, he would take adverse action on legislation important to its business interests, federal authorities said.​
Nonetheless, a lobbyist for the company met with Senator Skelos to discuss his son's no-show work record. The senator, federal authorities say, told the lobbyist that his son needed cash because he had just bought a house.​
Adam Skelos was making $78,000 a year. In the fall of 2013, he approached the firm about converting his employment contract to a consulting agreement. He eventually signed an agreement that would pay him $36,000 a year for making 100 sales a week.​
"The malpractice insurance administrator never sold one medical malpractice policy to a single doctor as a result of any call placed by or performed by Adam Skelos," federal authorities wrote in the indictment.​
The senator had other dealings with the company, federal authorities said; in 2012, he asked the firm to direct more business to a court-reporting service that employed Adam Skelos's girlfriend, who is now his wife.​
Lawyers for the senator and his son did not respond to a request for comment on the new allegations. A website has been established so people can donate to their legal defense. The fund, according to the website, was created to help the Skeloses "stand up and defeat those who place their own ambition ahead of justice," and make clear that "it's wrong to criminalize the relationship between a father and son."​

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