Dean Skelos

Peter Haskell/WCBS 880

Former State Senate Leader Dean Skelos, Son Convicted At Retrial

July 17, 2018 - 2:16 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880/AP) -- A jury on Tuesday convicted former New York state Senate Leader Dean Skelos and his son, Adam, on all counts at their second trial for bribery and extortion.

The jury agreed that Skelos traded his political clout to benefit his son. Prosecutors contended that Skelos used his powerful position to help Adam land lucrative no-show jobs.

Prosecutors had presented a litany of wiretaps and emails.

Dean Skelos' lawyer told the jury there was nothing corrupt or criminal and that he simply asked his friends to hire Adam, but prosecutors said these weren't friendly requests, these were shakedowns. They claim Adam was paid $300,000 for no-show jobs and then his father would pull legislative strings.

Skelos, 70, testified in his own defense during the trial, telling the jury he was constantly worried about a son who had emotional struggles as a child and financial woes as an adult. He claimed he was merely asking the businessmen to help out as friends.

"I didn't see a problem with it," he said. "I asked a lot of people to help my son."

When the verdict was read in court, Dean Skelos showed emotion, while Adam looked up to the ceiling, WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported.

The father and son were also convicted in 2015 of extortion, conspiracy and bribery. But a new trial was ordered by a federal appeals court in Manhattan after the U.S. Supreme Court narrowed the law regarding public corruption as it reversed the conviction of former Republican Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell.

(© 2018 WCBS 880. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)