Timeline: A History of Political Corruption in Albany

The arrest of State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is  the latest mark in a decades-long string of corruption and misconduct allegations against lawmakers at the State Capitol in Albany. Below is a timeline of notable cases from the last few decades.

2015: Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos is arrested on federal conspiracy charges. Skelos, the highest-ranking Republican in state government, is accused of taking payments with his son Adam in exchange for legislative action or help with government contracts. 

2015: State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who became one of the most powerful men in Albany after nearly two decades in the speaker's chair, was arrested in January on federal corruption charges. Federal investigators have accused the Manhattan Democrat of soliciting millions in kickbacks and bribes and masking it as legitimate income from work as a private attorney. Silver was expected to resign from his speaker's seat. 

2013-14: Gov. Cuomo set up the Moreland Commission to tackle corruption in Albany in 2013, then controversially disbanded the body just a year later. Cuomo came under heat for allegedly interfering with the supposedly independent body when it focused on groups with ties to the governor. U.S. Attorneys began looking into the handling of the body after it was disbanded.

2013: State Sen. Malcolm Smith, a Queens Democrat, and New York City Councilman Dan Halloran were both arrested in April on conspiracy, wire fraud and extortion charges after the pair allegedly plotted to get Smith onto the New York City mayoral ballot by paying off GOP county chairmen. Smith was found guilty of federal corruption charges in February of 2015. 

2013: State Rep. Eric Stevenson, a Bronx Democrat, was arrested on federal corruption charges in April for allegedly taking bribes in exchange for help he gave to businessmen trying to open an adult day care center. He was convicted of bribery and extortion in January of 2014 and is currently serving a three-year prison term.

2013: State Sen. John Sampson, a Brooklyn Democrat, was arrested in February on embezzlement and obstruction of justice charges. Federal officials say that he embezzled $440,000 between 1998 and 2008 while overseeing escrow accounts of foreclosed properties in Brooklyn. Prior to his arrest, Sampson served a stint as the majority leader of the State Senate. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

2012: State Sen. Shirley Huntley was arrested after she was named in a 20-count indictment charging the Queens Democrat and others with fraudulently using $30,000 in state education grants to benefit associates in a nonprofit she founded. She pleaded guilty to one charge of mail fraud in 2013, and was sentenced to one year and a day in prison. 

2011 - 2013: Former State Rep. William Boyland Jr. is arrested and later acquitted on of bribery charges stemming from allegations he took a no-show job in exchange for doing political favors for a corrupt hospital official in New York City. Then, less than two weeks after his acquittal, Boyland was arrested on bribery charges again, with prosecutors claiming to have secretly recorded the assemblyman soliciting $250,000 in bribes to pay his legal fees for the first trial, according to the New York Times. Then, in 2013, the Brooklyn Democrat was again arrested on mail fraud charges after he allegedly filed for travel reimbursements for his trips to Albany despite never leaving New York City. He was acquitted on those charges a few months later, then pleaded guilty in the second bribery case. He maintained his seat in the Assembly until his conviction in March of 2014.

2010: Then-Attorney General Andrew Cuomo filed suit in April against Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada, accusing the Bronx Democrat of siphoning $14 million for himself and his family from his government-funded health care clinic in the Bronx. A day later, federal agents raided the clinic as part of a criminal investigation. Espada was later found guilty on federal embezzlement charges and is currently serving a five-year prison stint at a federal facility in Brooklyn.

2009: State Sen. Hiram Monserrate was convicted of misdemeanor assault against his girlfriend and acquitted by a judge on a felony count that would have automatically cost him his seat. The Senate voted 53-8 in February to expel him. He lost a special election to win back the seat.

2009: Former Democratic Assemblyman Anthony Seminerio pleaded guilty to defrauding his Queens constituents of honest services and collecting $1 million in consulting fees by leveraging his legislative job. He was sentenced in February to six years in prison.

2008: Democratic Gov. Eliot Spitzer resigned in 2008 after he was named in a prostitution investigation.

2006: State Comptroller Alan Hevesi, a Democratic assemblyman from Queens for 22 years and later New York City comptroller, pleaded guilty in state court to fraud in 2006 for using state workers to chauffeur his wife. He was fined $5,000 and barred from holding public office. In 2011, he pleaded guilty to corruption charges in a pay-to-play scandal involving the state's massive pension system.

2000: Sen. Guy Velella, a Bronx Republican, pleaded guilty to taking bribes from contractors from 1995 to 2000 and helping them win public works contracts. He resigned from his seat and spent six months in jail.

1991: Assembly Speaker Mel Miller was accused of cheating clients out of proceeds in the sale of eight cooperative apartments and convicted by a federal jury in 1991. The conviction was overturned on appeal. He became a lobbyist.

1986: Senate Minority Leader Manfred Ohrenstein was charged with assigning Senate staff to work on political campaigns in 1986 elections. The Manhattan Democrat was cleared after the Court of Appeals ruled the Legislature did not prohibit the practice, common at the time. He stepped down in 1995 after 34 years. He became a lobbyist.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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