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Former NY Lawmaker Convicted of Corruption Charges -- Again

By William Vogeler, Esq. on July 20, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

What a difference a new trial makes.

Well, not for Dean Skelos and his son. The former New York Senate Majority Leader and son Adam Skelos were convicted of corruption charges -- again.

After a faulty jury instruction in their first trial, they got another chance. Different jury, same verdict.

"Official Act"

The first time around, the Skeloses were convicted of extortion, wire fraud and bribery. Their convictions were part of house-cleaning in New York politics that also brought down former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver on bribery charges.

They all got a break, however, after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the bribery conviction of former Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell. (I know, our tax dollars at work.)

Anyway, the Supreme Court said in McDonnell's case that the "official act" jury instructions were too broad and could result in convictions based on legal acts. That opened the door for the New York convicts to get out.

It didn't help the Skeloses for long, however. They made a big mistake on retrial.

Testified to Jurors

The former lawmaker decided to tell his story to jurors. He didn't extort money or take bribes; he just asked people to help his son get work.

Uh no, the jurors decided. They said he was guilty of abusing his position to extort more than $300,000 in bribes.

Prosecutors said the defendants were convicted of the same offenses as the first time. Unless prosecutors add on perjury, Dean Skelos is looking at six years again.

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