Crime and Courts

Chief investigative reporter Jonathan Dienst on crime, corruption and terrorism.

Former New York Senate Leader Dean Skelos Never Sold Office: Lawyer

A defense attorney has told a jury at the corruption trial of former New York Senate leader Dean Skelos and his adult son that the once-powerful lawmaker never sold his office. 

In closing arguments on Wednesday in federal court in Manhattan, attorney G. Robert Gage denied the Long Island Republican extorted three businesses to get $300,000 in fees and benefits for Adam Skelos. He also attacked the credibility of company executives who agreed to testify for the government in exchange for not being prosecuted.

On Tuesday, prosecutors said Skelos used his office to "strong arm" the businesses. The government says the extortion and bribery scheme unraveled after investigators secretly recorded their phone calls.

Skelos has retained his Senate seat but relinquished his leadership position.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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