Saturday, May 11, 2013

A Week in Corruption

May 3, 20013
Holly Shit the Huntley Tapes
How Do You Say Moreland Commissione
Former ex-Qns state Sen. Huntley wore FBI wire in expanding corruption probe(NYP)

Whoah. RT : Breaking: Last summer, NY Sen. Huntley recorded conversations with 7 elected officials at prosecutors' direction. * Another Double Agent Legislator Exposed(YNN) * Ex-State Senator Was Directed to Record Elected Officials(NYT)
* Ex-Queens State Sen. Shirley Huntley wore a wire, says court (NYDN)

Huntley's and Feds Major Catch Sampson
Breaking: State senator tied in court papers to bribery plot identified as John Sampson of Brooklyn 
2nd Legislator in Albany Secretly Taped Colleagues(NYT)
The senator was not identified in the court documents, but a person with knowledge of the matter said the senator was John L. Sampson, a Brooklyn Democrat and former Senate leader who has long been under investigation. 

Between June 2012 and August 2012, the defendant, while acting at the direction of the government, made numerous recordings of meetings with nine different people, including seven elected officials and two individuals who had previously been employed as a staff member or a consultant by elected officials. Recordings of four of the elected officials, as well as the two non-elected individuals, did not yield any evidence of criminal activity. However, recordings of meetings the defendant held separately with State Senator #1 and two other elected officials did yield evidence useful to law enforcement authorities, and the details of those recordings are discussed in a separate sealed letter to be filed next week



Cook is Cooked
Smith  Wills
Ex-State Sen. Shirley Huntley recorded conversations for feds, says court docs  (NYDN) Disgraced former State Sen. Shirley Huntley, 74, "made numerous recordings of meetings" with nine elected officials, staff members and a consultant while serving her Queens district, between June 2012 and August 2012, according to her sentencing memorandum filed in Brooklyn Federal Court.* It’s Best to Assume All Crooked New York Politicians Are Also Wearing a Wire(NY Mag) * Crooked former Queens state Sen. Shirley Huntley wore FBI wire, may have snared more senators in sting operation(NYP) *Ex-Lawmaker Works With Feds To Bust Latest Allegedly Corrupt (WCBS)


The U.S. Attorney Could Could Put Half of the Pols in Albany In Jail If There Were Enough Taping Machines Available



Given all the secretly wired legislators running around Albany, it's a wonder feedback from their devices didn't give them away.
Will there be any Senate Democrats available given the shoe that's about to drop next week in the Eastern District of NY?

Boyland Again Indicted

William Boyland Jr. Indicted Yet Again(NYO)

Assemblyman William Boyland Jr. just can’t catch a break.
Mr. Boyland, who was previously charged with soliciting bribes to pay his legal bills in an unrelated corruption trial, was indicted again last March for wire fraud charges stemming from alleged abuse of per diem requests. And he was just charged yet again today. “Boyland engaged in a scheme to defraud New York State by steering public funds to a Brooklyn based non-profit organization (‘Non-Profit A’) and then directing that a portion of those public funds be used to pay for community events promoting Boyland and on goods such as t-shirts imprinted with the slogan ‘Team Boyland’ which were distributed at those events,” a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s office this evening declared.* Assemblyman Boyland charged with felony fraud in superseding indictment(TU)

These latest charges are the latest in a long string of corruption charges against New York officials. Recently, State Sen. Malcolm Smith, Councilman Dan Halloran and Assemblyman Eric Stevenson were charged in various bribery schemes, for example. And in the past couple years, a wide range of legislators have been convicted of corruption, including Councilman Larry Seabrook, State Sen. Shirley Huntley and State Sen. Carl Kruger.


May 5
Former Albany Senate Sampson Expected to Be Arrested This Week
Charges expected against Brooklyn state Sen. John Sampson: sources Sen. John Sampson (NYDN)











Reformers and Goo Goos Have No Answer for Smith and Liu's Campaigns Gaming Public Finance
Errol Lewis: You see something like John Liu and your ask a reformer how to fix the problem and the say campaign finance reform
Kate Pastor, the editor of The Riverdale Press: Yes the reformers have been waiting for an opportunity ........ Oh I see what you are saying (the rest of the answer was confused)

One old time reformer says these Pol bums corrupt a nun when they planed to cash in on public financing. Team Smith Plan Was To Rake in $$$ from the City's Public Finance System, Which Was Put in Place to Stop the CityTime Corruption in the Koch Administration.* The debate over using public funds in political campaigns will intensify this week as Senate Republicans hold a hearing into abuses of a similar system in New York City and advocates of the measure begin attacking GOP incumbents with mail advertisements.


May 6
Sampson's Insider Mole Incredible
Sampson Pleads Not Guilty To Federal Corruption Charges
Fmr Dem leader of NY Senate accused of having mole in prosecutor's office, in addition to corruption(NYT)
Sampon was accused of seeking information from an employee of the United States attorney’s office in Brooklyn about whether he was under criminal investigation and for the names of any potential witnesses who could be used to testify against him.  
Sampson charged with two counts of embezzlement, five counts of obstruction of justice and two counts of making false statements
Feds allege Sen John Sampson used embezzled money in part to fund his campaign for Brooklyn DA.
 Indictment: Sampson had a mole within the U.S. Attorneys office! 
Indictment: Sampson said he would arrange to "take ... out" witnesses helping the real estate developer, using info from his mole 
Sen John Sampson allegedly tried to get inside info from US Atty's investigation by cultivating administrative employee as mole. * State Senator from Brooklyn Charged withEmbezzlement and Obstruction of Justice

Will Sampson Rat - Feds Offered A Deal Till the End of the  Month

“For years, Senator John Sampson abused his position of public trust to steal from New Yorkers suffering from home foreclosure and from the very county he was elected to represent,'’ Loretta E. Lynch, the United States attorney in Brooklyn, said in a statement. “But the former Senate ethics leader didn’t stop there. Senator Sampson allegedly stole that money to fund his own ambition to become Brooklyn’s top prosecutor.'’ 

4:00PM Sampson lawyer: "The senator does not stand accused of any offenses that implicate the misuse of his office as a NYS senator, period."

U.S. Attorney Slams John Sampson’s ‘Extreme Examples of Political Hubris’(NYO)


I'll find informant and 'TAKE THEM OUT': Shocking vow revealed in corruption indictment of disgraced State Senator(NYDN)

"Not everything I told you was false," Sampson was said to have told FBI agents after they reminded him that lying to them was a crime.
Sampson is accused of stealing $440K from escrow accounts relating to foreclosure proceedings from his work as a court-appointed referee
Sampson is also accused of taking a $188,500 "loan" from an associate who was arrested for mortgage fraud in July 2011 
Discussing the cooperating witnesses in his associate's mortgage fraud case, Sampson reportedly said he could arrange to "take them out." 
Sampson said to have told an associate he embezzled money in order to pay for his 2005 campaign for Brooklyn DA, which was not successful. 
The indictment also alleges that Sampson obstructed justice by interfering w/ the federal investigation of a real estate developer. 
Read federal charges against State Sen John Sampson 
 Albany scandal deepens: frmr Democratic leader of State Senate charged w/embezzling $440,000. (NYT) * Sampson Attorney: This Is Not A Corruption Case(YNN)
State Senator John Sampson faces 9 charges, life in prison if convicted in corruption case


State senator John Sampson was taken into custody this morning by FBI agents following a public corruption investigation, according to FBI.* Sen. John Sampson surrenders today after being caught in Huntley wiretap (NYP) * : State. Sen John Sampson, a Democrat, was taken into FBI custody on federal corruption charges. * Sen. John Sampson Taken Into Custody In Connection With Corruption Probe(CBS) * John Sampson Faces Charges After Corruption Inquiry(NYT) * . says the Sampson indictment has made a bad situation worse. * State Senator Is Charged With Embezzlement(NYT)


Brooklyn state Sen. John Sampson is expected to be charged today in connection with a public corruption investigation related to accepting bribes from a businessman who wanted to expand his business at Kennedy International Airport
Pol will surrender after being caught in Huntley wiretap(NYP)
Embattled state Sen. John Sampson of Brooklyn is set to turn himself in to authorities today after being ensnared in a bribery scandal involving former colleague-turned-rat Shirley Huntley, sources said. Sampson told his aides over the weekend that he was preparing to surrender to the feds, reaching out to staffers to give them the news, the sources said.* Corruption Charge Expected for Senator(NYT) * Former US attorney Zachary Carter representing state Sen. John Sampson, in latest Albany corruption scandal  * Senate Dems Leader Stewart-Cousins says Sampson stripped of ranking positions and committees He also won't sit with Democratic conference. Senate Dems Leader Stewart-Cousins says Sampson stripped of ranking positions and committees He also won't sit with Democratic conference. Andrea Stewart-Cousins statement: John Sampson "has been stripped of his ranking positions and all committee assignments."
In 2010, the state inspector general said Mr. Sampson and other Senate leaders had manipulated the bidding process for the right to build a casino at the Aqueduct racetrack. * Stewart-Cousins boots Sampson from the Senate Democrats * Apparently, FBI agents confronted Sampson on July 27, 2012 outside his Brooklyn home. He said embezzled checks "didn't ring a bell." Sampson was once chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee * Sampson told feds he was cultivating a mole because he was not “good” with computers * "minor party lines have been for sale"--. * What To Know About John Sampson(YNN) * Sampson Pleads Not Guilty To Federal Corruption Charges (NY1) *  Tom Precious recalls John Sampson‘s heyday: “Soft-spoken, the large, muscular Sampson held a regular workout routine in a legislative gym located across the street from the Capitol.”

AEG Cover Up (True News)

Despite New Lawmaker Arrests, Cuomo's Ethics Reform Plans Face Legislative Opposition
 
Daily News Says Cuomo Election Reforms DOA
Only Moreland Commissioner Stick Left for the Governor 
 Two of Gov. Cuomo’s proposals for cleaning up Albany are “nonstarters” according to insiders in both chambers of the Legislature, with some lawmakers charging that Cuomo is more interested in turning around his declining poll numbers. Cuomo wants to strip party leaders of the power of granting access to their ballot lines to nonparty members. And he has proposed a new investigative panel, led by a Cuomo appointee, within the ineffective state Board of Elections to probe campaign violations.   Gov. Andrew Cuomo sees bills and ratings slip up(NYDN) * Ad Blitz by Democrats Backs Two of New York Governor's Planks(WSJ) The campaigns, to begin airing early this week, will focus on Mr. Cuomo's package of anticorruption proposals, as well as on the 10-point Women's Equality Act, which includes a measure to codify state abortion rights with federal law. Both are items the governor has identified as priorities he hopes to pass by the end of session, in late June. * Senate Republicans will hold a hearing on the abuses of New York City’s public campaign financing system on Tuesday, while an organization backing public campaign finance will begin attacking Republican incumbents with mail advertisements, the Times-Union reports * Cuomo has an op-ed, outlining the "to do" list of NY legislators(NYDN) * Senate Hearing on NYC Campaign Financing A 'Kangaroo Court' 

Here Comes More Cuomo Ads 
* Lovett: Gov. Andrew Cuomo sees bills and ratings slip u (NYDN) * A “high-level official” says Cuomo is “floundering around” and trying to get his poll numbers up as corruption cases mount in Albany. * State Senator John Sampson to surrender on corruptions (WABC) * Yet Another New York Politician to Be Charged With Corruption(NY Mag) * As the Legislature heads into its final months of the session, the state Democratic party is set to spend more than $1 million on TV ad campaigns designed to promote and execute two central planks of his agenda: The Women’s Equality Act and anti-corruption proposals.* Newsday editorializes against the Assembly Republicans recall elections proposal, saying it won’t stop corruption in Albany. * Cuomo on passing anticorruption laws: "With today, there is more of an urgency to do it, and denial is not a life strategy." 



Reading the Huntley sentencing letter makes me sense that the feds learned of the Port Authority "scheme" from Senator#1 wiretap.

Klein & IDC feeling pretty vindicated right about now.
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Only Morland Will Work
New York Needs A Moreland Commission to Restore to Democracy

Campaign finance reform will not longer fix with is wrong with government.  Both of our  U.S. Attorney's have already proven in this sick political culture of  New York our elected officials are criminally selling their vote and and corruption public financing of campaigns.  We need ongoing commission at least 5 years that will put our political system on trial to get the bottom of this criminal conspiracy and jail those who have taken advantage of their position.  These bums have gamed out political system to the point that no one reform will change the criminal culture.   In the 1930's the Seabury commission exposed judges, attorneys, police and bail bondsmen who extort money from defendants facing trial.  The people of the state of New York have the same rights to have a commission to expose the political culture corruption.  Everyone in government is trying to find a way to go around, ignore or find some public relations way to keep the system going.  Bharara calls that strategy Groundhog day.  A band aid will not fix this.  Organize crime elected officials are a cancer that is destroying our democracy.* Senate Republicans will hold a hearing on the abuses of New York City’s public campaign financing system on Tuesday, while an organization backing public campaign finance will begin attacking Republican incumbents with mail advertisements, the Times-Union reports: With Sampson's indictment, 32 state officeholders have been convicted or accused of misconduct in 7 years, according to 

New Yorkers Have A Constitutional Right to A Corruption Free Government 
The Moreland Act was an act passed by the New York Legislature and signed into law in 1907. It was introduced by Sherman Moreland who was the Republican leader of the legislature. The act allows the governor, in person or through one or more persons appointed by the Governor, to examine management and affairs of any department, board, bureau or commission in the state. Investigators could interview witnesses, administer oaths, hold hearings, and seize any material deemed relevant to the investigator's case.  

NY Organized Crime Politics
New Yorkers are continuing to lose faith in their state government and elected officials. The governor cannot continue to claim New York is better off today than it has been in years until he exercises his power for the Moreland Commission and rids the Capitol of these corrupt politicians. The investigators then had to use that intelligence to recommend legislative actions.  It is time to drain the swamp of these corrupt politicians.


New York State legislators are paid very well. Among highest in country. They need to take bribes? All this shame for a little bit of money.I can understand why the and his renegades would rather conference with GOP than with this bunch.

More Albany Politics
A review of the salaries of state legislators shows that some lawmakers were rewarded with high-profile leadership positions that come with higher stipends, with the largest salary increase going to Assemblyman Joe Morelle, Gannett Albany writes

Corruption in Albany(NYT Ed)
The indictment of yet another politician by federal investigators is one way to clean up New York’s rancid state government. Public financing of campaigns is another.
 It will take more than public shaming to the Albany crowd to do things right. Our list of proposals includes, foremost, the public financing of campaigns in order to provide competition for those entrenched in state office. That would be especially helpful in New York City, where voters have elected too many of the worst malefactors in Albany. Meanwhile, we encourage the prosecutors to keep probing — and listening.

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Good Government Bill vs. lobbyists

Campaign consultants would no longer be allowed to turn around and lobby those they help elect 

'Firewall' bill vs. lobbyists: Campaign consultants would no longer be allowed to turn around and lobby those they help elect(NYDN) Any firms that provide campaign management, fundraising services, public relations, development of campaign literature and ads, and strategic advice to a campaign will be prohibited from lobbying state officials on legislation, regulatory changes, budget items and procurement of services.* Campaign consultants would no longer be able to turn around and lobby those they help elect under a bill to be introduced today by IDC member Sen. David Valesky.

 

The Parkside Corruption (True News)

 Smith Advisor Hank Sheinkopf Connected to AEG and Much More

NY1 Reporter Grace Rauh listed corrupt lobbyist Hank Sheinkopf as one of the 50 relatives, pals, colleagues and clients who wrote character letters on his Lipsky's defense successful to avoid a long prison sentence The NY1 reporter failed to mention the absurdity of a Sheinkropf send a letter of character to a judge.  Rauh should have told her views that Sheinkropf took the 5th 56 times when the NYS questioned him about the AEG bidding process.  Sheinkopf took the 5th when asked questions by the NY former state Inspector General Joseph Fisch about the AEG scandal which is still being investigated by the feds as part of the AEG investigation.  The Feds are also investigating a Board Of Election (the cesspool of political corruption) contract for new machines that Sheinkopf was a lobbyist for. Feds investigate switch by Board of Elections ... - New York Post   There is a lot more in areas like pensions and HUD corrupt where Sheinkropf name appears. Former Village Voice reporter Wayne Barrett best described how Sheinkopf operates "Sheinkopf makes kings so he can then make deals with the kings he’s made." 
Sheinkopf working for Robert Williams Scandal.
Behind Big Political Gifts, a Mysterious Donor - The New York Times

David Paterson says if he's ever going to steal something, it will be a complex, Ocean's 11 style art heist in the mold of a gentleman thief








Why Are NYC District Attorneys Not Indicting Pols?
DA Johnson Worked With the US Attorney on the Recent Bronx Arrests
Why is it always up to the federal government?


Insiders describe it as an inherently “political animal” that can often have trouble indicting members of the party—which in New York City is the Democratic Party—that controls who serves in the local legal system. To some extent, every Democratic district attorney has close relationships with Democratic Party leadership. For example, Hynes had to recuse himself from the investigation into Vito Lopez’s alleged sexual harassment of his staffers. Lopez, of course, is a former party boss that knows Hynes very well. Another Corruption Case is Brought by the Feds, Not a District Attorney(Barkan) * Brooklyn DA candidate Ken Thompson used the Sampson scandal to slam his primary target, DA Joe Hynes, though the charges against Sampson stem from his ’05 challenge to Hynes, which complicates things. (More here).* The John Sampson saga spills over into the Brooklyn D.A. race

NY1 Online: First Look At Report Examining Political Clubs (NY1)
Read the complete report, "Hidden from View, The Undisclosed Campaign Activity of Political Clubs in New York State," written and published by Citizens Union.


Wednesday May 5
NYT “It will take more than public shaming to the Albany crowd to do things right.”

 NYT Should Call for the Moreland Commission
NYT "encourage the prosecutors to keep probing — and listening"
 Corruption in Albany(NYT Ed)
The indictment of yet another politician by federal investigators is one way to clean up New York’s rancid state government. Public financing of campaigns is another.
It will take more than public shaming to the Albany crowd to do things right. Our list of proposals includes, foremost, the public financing of campaigns in order to provide competition for those entrenched in state office. That would be especially helpful in New York City, where voters have elected too many of the worst malefactors in Albany.

The DN endorses Cuomo’s reform plan * The NYT: “For all the talk among Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other leaders about cleaning up New York’s rancid state government, it is the F.B.I. that is doing the cleaning — indictment by indictment.”* Stop the thieves now(NYDN Ed) One more member of the state Legislature has been identified as a cheap crook. There was money to steal so Brooklyn state Sen. John Sampson took it and then he pulled strings to cover the theft, according to federal prosecutors. New York’s grand jury rules hobble state prosecutors when conducting investigations. They should be revised to give state probers powers that match those in the federal system. that match those in the federal system. Controlled by political bosses, the state Board of Elections has given up on enforcing New York’s campaign finance laws. The state needs an independent monitor with full subpoena and prosecutorial authority. Legislative slush funds, called member items, must be permanently abolished.  The regulations governing who can seek a party’s nomination to run for office must be relaxed in order to diminish boss rule and the power to make inordinate demands.

The Obsever Says It is Time for Cuomo to Act But Does Not Says What He Should Do
Time for Cuomo to Act(NYO)
Legend has it that when Boss Tweed was at the height of his power, he dismissed criticism of his corrupt ways and means with a single, memorable phrase: What are you going to do about it? The cartoonist Thomas Nast made the phrase famous—some believe he actually fabricated Tweed’s response—as a symbol of official arrogance during the Gilded Age. Tweed is long gone, but the spirit of his supposed response—What are you going to do about it?—is alive and well in New York. In the last week, yet another senior member of the State Senate, John Sampson of Brooklyn, was arrested on corruption charges, while two of Comptroller John Liu’s former campaign aides were found guilty of fraud. Mr. Liu, who is running for mayor, was positively Tweed-like. As The Observer reports this week, Mr. Liu suggested that prosecutors “put up or shut up.” How’s that for remorse?
Unshackle Upstate: "Proposal for taxpayer-funded political campaigns is a scam.''
Public Hearing on Elections Is Held Without the Public (NYT)
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Sampson's FBI File
Prosecutors say that state Sen. John Sampson stole $400,000 from the sale of foreclosed homes to finance his unsuccessful Brooklyn district attorney campaign, and persuaded a real estate developer to give him $200,000 to cover up the theft
Senator in Corruption Case Spoke of Silencing Witnesses, Prosecutors Say(NYT)
State Sen. John Sampson indicted on embezzlement charges, faces 120 years(NYP) With “extreme arrogance and hubris,” a Brooklyn state senator who held one of the most powerful posts in Albany embezzled nearly half a million dollars of escrow money he was entrusted to safeguard — and then used a mole inside the US Attorney’s Office to keep tabs on witnesses who threatened to expose his scheme, authorities said yesterday.* Sampson asked a mole in the US Attorney’s office for the names of witnesses cooperating to make a case against him so he could “take them out.”

Sen. Sampson pal in US Attorney's office quick to turn mole for corrupt pol: legal papers(NYP)
 Those papers also disclosed for the first time that Sampson's mole -- federal paralegal Samuel Noel -- later became a cooperating witness for prosecutors investigating the Brooklyn senator after Noel's betrayal was uncovered last year.
Sampson Meets With His Mole
The documents filed by prosecutors also reveal the 46-year-old Brooklyn resident Noel last September secretly pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge for having accessed accessing an internal Justice Department computer in 2011 in an effort to help Sampson get confidential information about investigations. "On a weekend day in either August or September 2011, Noel received a phone call from Sampson asking if they could meet," court papers unsealed today said. "When Noel met Sampson, Sampson asked Noel, in substance, whether Noel knew if Sampson's name had come up in an investigation being conducted by the [US Attorney's Office]." That investigation was of a Sampson legal client named Edul "Eddie" Ahmad, a Guyanese businessman under investigation for a massive mortgage fraud. "Noel responded in substance that he did not know the answer, but would attempt to find out."Sampson also asked Noel to learn the names of people who were cooperating with the probe of Ahmad, according to the filing. That information would have been of keen interest to Sampson, who prosecutors claim had obtained an undisclosed $188,500 loan from Ahmad to help cover up his alleged embezzlement.

Ed Ahmad faces over 10 years in jail, US$14M restitution

With “extreme arrogance and hubris,” a Brooklyn state senator who held one of the most powerful posts in Albany embezzled nearly half a million dollars of escrow money he was entrusted to safeguard — and then used a mole inside the US Attorney’s Office to keep tabs on witnesses who threatened to expose his scheme, authorities said yesterday.
“The fact that he was trying to become the top state prosecutor in this borough shows the extreme arrogance and hubris,” said Brooklyn US Attorney Loretta Lynch, whose office is prosecuting Sampson. “It’s all about him.“And when the defendant felt that his self-dealing would be exposed, this defendant, this state senator, this attorney at law counseled a witness to lie, hid evidence, and worked to reach inside the US Attorney’s Office to obtain non-public law-enforcement information.”* State Senator Arrested(WSJ)
* Sampson Pleads Not Guilty To Federal Corruption Charges(NY1) * Senate Democrats Try To Distance Themselves From Allegedly Corrupt Sampson(NY1) * Tom Precious believes Sampson’s alleged embezzlement of nearly $500,000 to help fund his campaign to be the top law enforcement official in Brooklyn “could be a first” and is “bizarre” – even by Albany standards.

Sampson Embezzled From Court Appointed Receivership's To Fund His 2005 DA Race
 Sampson pleaded not guilty, but has one month to decide whether to take the following plea agreement: Accept a sentence of 37 to 46 months by pleading to embezzlement and one other charge. * If he doesn’t take the plea deal, Sampson faces up to 120 years behind bars.* Three of the past four Senate leaders all face federal criminal charges, and one (Pedro Espada Jr.) has pleaded guilty already. * Sampson’s Arrest Is Another Roadblock for Senate Democrats in Albany(NYT) * Stewart-Cousins ‘Hopes’ For No More Charges, But Can’t Be Sure(YNN) * Prosecutors: Keep Huntley’s Contacts Sealed(YNN) * “The Senate now has four conferences: Republican, Democrat, Independent Democrat – and indicted.”  * Sen. John Sampson’s seat in the Senate chamber was moved, but he’s not sitting next to his scandal-scarred colleague, Sen. Malcolm Smith. * Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr. suggests lawmakers of color are being targeted in corruption investigations.


Sampson allegedly urged his associate — identified by sources as Guyana-born businessman and Sampson legal client Edul “Eddie” Ahmad — to withhold financial documents from federal investigators that could incriminate the former Ethics Committee chairman in crimes dating back 15 years.Real estate agent with ties to Rep. Gregory Meeks admits to $14 million mortgage fraud scheme(10/2/2012, NYDN) * Feds probing Katrina charity set up by Rep. Gregory Meeks and state Senator Smith(NYP) *  The Daily News’ Bill Hammond writes that through all of his years covering New York State government he has never seen “so much sleaze” exposed in such a short amount of time, with the latest scandal involving state Sen. John Sampson: 





Ahmad's The $188.500 Check
“I can’t talk on the phone,” Sampson told Ahmad during a meeting in November 2011, the indictment alleges. “From now on, our conversation is, ‘I don’t have no contacts, you don’t know nothing.’


When we talk, that’s how we talk.”The powerful pol had allegedly received a secret $188,500 “loan” from Ahmad in 2006 — which he then used to pay back a fraction of the $440,000 he allegedly embezzled from four foreclosure escrow accounts he controlled as a court-appointed referee to fund his 2005 primary challenge for Brooklyn DA, federal prosecutors claim.Sampson later “instructed” Ahmad not to disclose to prosecutors a check register page that revealed those payments to the senator, according to authorities.* With the arrest of another former state Senate majority leader, John Sampson, Albany has seen 32 state level officials snared in corruption cases in the past seven years* If you're keeping score at home: the 30 troubled NY lawmakers since 2000

The New York Public Interest Research Group reports more than 100,000 actual violations of state campaign finance laws since 2011, including campaign committee failures to file accurate reports, or any reports at all.As many as 2,318 campaign finance reports required of these political clubs were not filed   * MLK Jr. Dem. Club, home club for Rangel & Dickens, not registered w/ NYS as a political cmte. or filed required campaign fin. reports* Cuomo Cheers NYPIRG Report On CampFin Violations(YNN)

Same senators now complaining about slow NYCCFB audits seem to have little interest in fixing even slower NY board of election audits.*Elections hearing under siege

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Stevenson's Broke

Court Appointed Lawyers For Pols
‘Bribery’ Benz pol cries poor (NYP) Indicted Assemblyman Eric Stevenson rode off from court in a shiny black Mercedes-Benz sedan yesterday — after telling a judge he didn’t have enough money to defend himself against bribery charges.* Judge: Boyland to get court-appointed attorney - Newsday * Bronx Assemblyman Pleads Not Guilty To Corruption Charges(NY1)

 Wednesday May 3
The rot at NY’s top(NYP) Why There’ll Be No Real Reform

NYT Yesterday
NYP Today
Book 'Em Danno

The Post’s Bob McManus argues that there can be no real reform against public corruption until investigators address the current legislative leadership and their obvious conflicts of interest

NYP - There will be no real reform until Bharara, Lynch & Co. address the current legislative leadership and their obvious, egregious, conflicts of interest. And it wouldn’t hurt for the governor to bring less rhetoric and more example to this issue. There’s no room for ethics — nor for ethical people — in this mess.
So why be surprised when the skeezy back-benchers who predominate declare, Hey! I’m going to get mine! Bob McManus believes corruption in Albany starts at the top, and calls out Cuomo for his taxpayer funded pro-business ad campaign.

NYT “It will take more than public shaming to the Albany crowd to do things right.”

 NYT Should Call for the Moreland Commission
NYT "encourage the prosecutors to keep probing — and listening"
 Corruption in Albany(NYT Ed)
The indictment of yet another politician by federal investigators is one way to clean up New York’s rancid state government. Public financing of campaigns is another.

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Huntley's FBI Sting

Those Huntley Wiretapped
Shirley Huntley also taped Melvin Lowe, former consultant of AG Schneiderman.
BREAKING: Huntley taped John Sampson, Eric Adams, Ruth Hassell-Thompson, Jose Peralta, Malcolm Smith, Ruben Wills and Velmanette Montgomery.
Wow, Unsealed court document shows Sen. Huntley invited colleagues INTO HER HOME at FBI behest to get them on tape. 
* Whoa. Among NY politicians secretly recorded was , a candidate for Queens borough president. 
Adams gov' office said to contact campaign, campaign spox phone off. Emailed. Peralta spox promises comment shortly

Huntley’s Colleagues Caught On Wiretap(YNN) * Six state senators among pols secretly taped by Shirley Huntley in corruption probe(NYP)
* State Senator Taped 7 Elected Officials in Corruption Inquiry(NYT) * Largely Unknown DSCC Consultant Cleared $300k In Last Year(City and State) * Hassell-Thompson’s office referred a call for comment to the Senate Democrats’ central press office  * Remembering Melvin And Curtis(YNN) * . left Council meeting early escorted by security; refused to answer questions. * Sen. Adams: I've not been contacted by feds, believe "deeply in transparency and the pursuit of justice," cites 20 yrs in law enforcement. * Three lawmakers, recorded by Huntley, deny wrongoing (TU) * Schneiderman source calls Huntley fingering them "ridiculous." AG indicted Huntley & Lowe worked for tons of pols  * Peralta: ‘Confident’ He Did Nothing Wrong(YNN) * Assemblywoman Vivan Cook, who allegedly went on shopping sprees with disgraced politician Shirley Huntley (and has not been charged), said her home was burglarized Monday night.* A classic video from Sen. Eric Adams, retired NYPD officer, on how parents can spy on their kids. (Yet he didn’t find Huntley’s wire).* Sen. Malcolm Smith’s lawyer confirmed his client spoke with Huntley in 2012, but insisted he’s “confident that there wasn’t a word spoken about criminal conduct.”* Assemblywoman Connected to Disgraced Pol Shirley Huntley Reports Burglary(DNAINFO) * 's Ruth Hassell-Thompson said she lunched w Shirley Huntley but never "did we discuss anything inappropriate, improper or illegal" * What Shirley Huntley’s Wiretap List Means for Two Borough President Races(Barkan)  * Mood Grim In Albany As Names Of Pols Recorded By Huntley Released (NY1) * Seven Elected Officials Caught on Federal Probe's Wire Tap (DNAINFO)

Letitia James Considering Brooklyn BP Race After Eric Adams Tapings: Sources(NYDN) * . "I am absolutely running for Public Advocate. Rumors to the contrary are unfounded."

Sen. Eric Adams says he has not been "contacted" by an investigation, which is different than simply saying he's not under investigation



On that Eric Schneiderman 'associate' in Shirley Huntley's sentencing memo 
 
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Silver Staff Wants A JCOPE Cover Up

No Wonder Why This Report Has Not Been Released

NYT: Legislature demands ethics regulators edit Assembly Speaker’s staff out of Lopez sex harassment report. (NYT)

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Only Morland Will Work

Why Is Everyone Afraid in Calling for Moreland


 The NYT and NYP Call for the Feds to Lock Up Albany Without Calling on the Governor to Appoint A Moreland Commission Makes No Sense.  32 Pols have been arrested since 2006. What is the magic number before the papers begin calling for Moreland? Do New York Have A Right to Have Their Democracy Restored?Cuomo Holds Out Threat of A Moreland Commission To Probe Corruption
Thursday May 3

Huntley used an ankle injury to lure Senate Democrats a Democratic City Councilman to her home, as the names were released of those officials she secretly taped 

Tea Party 
Albany Style 
Would you like a spot of tea? Now tell me more about your plans to fleece the taxpayer
NYC Senate sewerNYC Senate sewer (NYP)  Six state senators from New York City are under federal criminal investigation, a court filing revealed yesterday. The six Democrats — one-quarter of the Big Apple’s Senate delegation — as well as a former press adviser to one of the pols, and a highly paid political consultant, are being eyed by Brooklyn federal prosecutors. 

Shirley's Jail Time Reduced By Taping Collages
UPDATED  FULL HUNTLEY JAIL TIME: Ex-Queens State Sen. Shirley Huntley Gets Year And A Day In Prison For Looting CharityHuntley sentenced to one year and a day in prison plus three years probation. Ms. Huntley, 74, was first elected to the State Senate in 2007  by defeated another troubled senator, Ada Smith, who, among other things, was convicted of throwing hot coffee on a staffer who commented on her weight.* Former State Sen. Shirley Huntley sentenced to one year and one day in prison, three years probation(NYP) Judge Weinstein didn't give her what she wanted, but he did sentence her to less than the 18 to 24 month range requested by prosecutors and federal sentencing guidelines.* Huntley Is Sentenced to a Year in Prison (NYT) *Huntley  agreed to invite certain elected officials chosen by the FBI into her home and record their conversations, the sentencing memorandum states.* State Senator on Shirley Huntley's List Racked Up Legal Bills(NYO)


Huntley: Bags of Cash Being Take  up Elevators at the Capital
Huntley’s attorney Sally Butler sought leniency from Judge Jack Weinstein, citing both the ex-lawmaker’s health and helpfulness to government investigators seeking to find more corrupt public officials. Butler detailed to court how Huntley knew of bags of cash being taken up Senate elevators at the Capitol and that she was able to have an unnamed senator admit being part of a bribery scheme. Huntley’s attorney also claimed the then-senator approach
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office about possible corruption in the Legislature.Butler detailed to the court how Huntley knew of bags of cash being taken up Senate elevators at the Capitol and that she was able to have an unnamed senator admit being part of a bribery scheme. Huntley’s attorney also claimed the then-senator approach Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office about possible corruption in the Legislature. Huntley Sentenced To A Year And A Day (YNN)


The senators named in a Huntley court filing unsealed yesterday are John Sampson, Eric Adams and Velmanette Montgomery of Brooklyn; Malcolm Smith and José Peralta of Queens; and Ruth Hassell-Thompson of The Bronx. * For Officials on Tape, Legislator’s Invitation Was Ruse (NYT) Shirley L. Huntley, a former New York legislator, told other elected officials she had broken her ankle, then recorded them at her home in an effort to help her own corruption case. * Corruption Cases Hit N.Y. Legislature(WSJ) * Lawmaker's Secret Recordings Aid Federal Probe of Politicians(WSJ)*   The hostess with the leastest (NYDN) Shirley Huntley's wiretap scheme speaks volumes about Albany culture.

What is clear is that the feds believed that, by barely batting an eye, Huntley could deliver enough corrupt politicians to field a baseball team. New York’s capital is in a league of its own.* Using a broken ankle as an excuse, Huntley lured fellow lawmakers to her Queens home to visit, where, unbeknownst to them, she recorded their conversations while chain smoking and sipping Zinfandel.* Political scandal grows as secret recordings lead to new(WPIX) * Latimer: Sampson & Smith Should Resign, Or Face Expulsion(YNN) * State Sen. John Sampson indicted on nine counts(Amsterdam News) * Huntley's lawyer says two white FBI agents were essentially "living" in her house while she wore wire:... *One-Year Prison Sentence for an Ex-State Senator Who Taped Her Colleagues(NYT)
 
  1. Source: “People who are not following politics at all are following this. It’s like an episode of 'The Wire.'”


Adams BP: So Close But So Very Far
Buzz More Adams Scandal to Come
Sources told The Post that the Brooklyn Democratic Party nixed a scheduled a vote to endorse Adams for borough president last night. “I have not been contacted about any investigation,” Adams told The Post. “I believe deeply in transparency and the pursuit of justice — and that is why I committed 20 years of my life to law enforcement. I am more than willing to help with any investigation.”

The Campaign Begins for Tish to Replace Adams
Update Adams is telling the district leaders that there is nothing on the tapes and he is asking for them to be released
Letitia James Considering Brooklyn BP Race After Eric Adams Tapings: Sources(NYDN) * . "I am absolutely running for Public Advocate. Rumors to the contrary are unfounded."* Given fundraising difficulties, Boro Prez makes sense. I would fully support her as well as for Public Advocate.* Brooklyn Borough prez hopeful Eric Adams among the 7 names (NYDN) * State Senator Dan Squadron is still not waiting for a conviction to call for his colleagues’ resignations. After Sen. Malcolm Smith was arrested on bribery charges, Mr. Squadron said, “Regardless of the outcome of the criminal charges … he has lost the public trust — and he should resign.” Politicker asked the public advocate candidate’s spokeswoman if the same applied to Monday’s arrest of Sen. John Sampson. She replied, “Yes.” In the wake of yesterday’s investigation revelations, Councilwoman Tish James is reportedly eying a bid for Brooklyn borough president, a race currently occupied by State Sen. Eric Adams, who has not been accused of any wrongdoing. Ms. James issued a statement soon after the report clarifying, “I am absolutely running for Public Advocate. Rumors to the contrary are unfounded. In fact, our campaign continues to pick up support across the City.” * Dan Squadron Rolls Out a Batch of Assembly Endorsements


Peralta Tap and $31,000 in Legal Fees
Peralta, meanwhile, is currently running for Queens borough president. The former assemblyman was elected to the Senate in a 2010 special election to replace Hiram Monserrate, who was ousted after being convicted of assaulting his girlfriend.Jose Peralta Wire Tap Brings New Attention to Senate Seat's Corrupt History - Jackson Heights - DNAi
Jose Peralta, lawmaker on wire recording, won't comment on $31,000 in "legal fees"
FLASHBACK * Assemblyman Jose Peralta scored $500,000 in taxpayer funds for inactive nonprofit(2009 NY Daily News) 
* Update: Peralta, coincidentally, has a BP fundraiser set up for tomorrow night in Corona, and you can see the invite below. Four lawyers will play host. One is Nestor Diaz, who worked for Hiram Monserrate -- the man Peralta replaced in the Senate -- during Monserrate's City Council years. (NYDN)
  1. Possible Peralta criminal defense lawyer said, "I don't talk about who my clients are," hung up
    1. RT Great campaign slogan! : Peralta: I Am Not A Target In Corruption Investigation

Feds Are Following the Money of Sampson Campaign Consultant Melvin Lowe Who Also Worked for Schneiderman
The other two under investigation are Smith’s former press adviser, Curtis Taylor, and consultant Melvin Lowe. * On that Eric Schneiderman 'associate' in Shirley Huntley's sentencing memo(Capital)


Is Their A Political Investigation that Wills Is Not Part Of
A ninth person whom Huntley taped, Councilman Ruben Wills (D-Queens), is no longer under investigation, according to his lawyer Steve Zissou.
Rubin Wills Who is Also Under Investigation and had or has 2 arrests warrants on on him 
Wills Investigation 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,







Joe Bruno A Corrupt Albany Pol Plays the Victim

Battlin’Bruno ‘fed’ up (NYP) Former state Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno yesterday blasted the feds for doggedly pursuing him on corruption charges, saying, “I’m not a terrorist!”  “I’m a big boy. I’m 84 years old, so that proves I’m a big boy and I want an end to this,”...* Former State Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno Continues Fight Against Corruption Charges(NY1) * A subcontractor who oversaw paving work at Sen. Tom Libous’ $415,000 lakeside home outside Binghamton says the FBI asked him about his work there.

Watergate II
Tax looter hit by break-in(NYP) Cops are investigating a break-in at the home of Queens Assemblywoman Vivian Cook — a pal of ex-state Sen. Shirley Huntley. Cook is being sentenced today for looting taxpayer funds that the friends allegedly spent on shopping jaunts together. Cook believes that whoever broke into her Jamaica home at 9 p.m. Monday was looking for Huntley-related documents, a source said. The burglar went through Cook’s personal papers after bypassing many valuables, the source said.Assemblywoman Vivian Cook, who is reportedly connected to State Sen. Shirley Huntley but was not named in yesterday’s wire tap list, strangely had her home broken into on Monday. According to the New York Post: “The burglar went through Cook’s personal papers after bypassing many valuables, the source said. Cook — who was in Albany when the break-in occurred — was polite but uncooperative with cops, another source said.”


Sampson Kept the Surplus Funds From the Foreclosure, the Court and the Owner Clueless

William Easterling and his wife used to own 165 Forbell Street, a two-family home in Brooklyn on the border of Cypress Hills and Ozone Park. The couple raised their four kids there. But they haven’t lived there in almost 20 years.  What he didn't know was that his old property was listed in the indictment against Senator John Sampson, who's accused of keeping money that came from the foreclosure sale. He also didn’t know that years ago he may have had a right to claim some of the $80,000 Sampson reported from the sale of 165 Forbell Street.


Stevenson How to Be Arrested

Avoiding arrest, by Eric Stevenson(TU)

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Lopez's Hush Fund Cover Up Continues


 Albany Transparency
Or How Silver Covers Up His Involvement In the Lopez Hush Fund Scandal

  
Now We Know Silver is Holding Up Release of the JCOPE Vito Lopez Report
In a Letter, State Lawmakers Demand Edits to a Sex-Scandal Report
(NYT) The note is said to press an ethics commission to remove details about how the Assembly speaker’s staff handled harassment allegations against Vito J. Lopez. The Legislature demanded that the state’s ethics commission remove details about Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver from a report on sexual harassment allegations against Assemblyman Vito Lopez * Can Cuomo Get Elections Enforcement?(YNN)


Vito Lopez Club is Also Covering Up His Club Filings
Clubbed for staying hu$h(NYP)
Political clubs tied to rogue lawmakers broke the law by failing to report campaign spending with the state Board of Elections, according to a new report by Citizens Union. The Guy Brewer Democratic Club in Queens — whose members include indicted Sen. Malcolm Smith and convicted ex- Sen. Shirley Huntley — are among clubs that failed to file reports. Huntley paid the club $1,500 for campaign space and signs, while Smith gave $8,400 in contributions — and both transactions went unreported by the club. The political club founded by accused groper Vito Lopez — B

  
Friday May 10
Shirley Goes Down Swinging
And while her humble two-story home in Queens is no mystery mansion, the set-up sounds strikingly similar to the plot of the 1985 film “Clue,” which was based on the board game. In the movie, only one of the guests is truly innocent. And according to federal sources, six of the seven pols Huntley recorded are subjects of ongoing investigations, meaning there might be just one innocent party among them. So is there a good guy here? Maybe not. The sole politician in the Huntley recordings who isn’t the subject of an ongoing federal investigation is Ruben Wills — and it turns out he’s the subject of an ongoing state investigation by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Wills is Huntley’s protegé and former chief of staff, and he’s under suspicion for a scheme involving Huntley herself. She steered $33,000 in state funds to New York 4 Life, a “nonprofit” group Wills heads. Only $980 has been accounted for. The rest — more than $32,000 — magically disappeared in Wills’ hands, and he pleaded the Fifth in a meeting with state investigators.




Lady-bug pol gets jail (NYP)  Former Queens state Sen. Shirley Huntley, whose secret recording of powerful New York colleagues has shaken up the Albany statehouse, is going to prison for ripping off a taxpayer-funded nonprofit to pay for shopping sprees with a crony.* Shirley’s parlor games(NYP Ed) In her own smoke-filled back room, she tried to pry confessions of guilt from her pals in the state Senate and City Council. That was the price of a deal she struck with the feds, who caught her embezzling $87,000 from a charity she and her family founded and plundered.* One-Year Prison Sentence for an Ex-State Senator Who Taped Her Colleagues(NYT) * As corruption scandals continue to ensnare the Legislature, some minority lawmakers are suggesting that black and Hispanic legislators are being targeted to weed out corruption, while others see no pattern of bias, the Times-Union writes *Ex-State Senator Huntley Is Sentenced(WSJ) * Growing Cloud Of Corruption Raises Questions In Albany(NY1) * Grandma of graft(NYP) How Huntley buys friends. Ex-Sen. Shirley Huntley was sentenced to a year and a day behind bars for stealing from a nonprofit she ran, which was below the guideline sentence of 18 to 24 months.* NY Sen. Eric Adams To Supporters: Nothing On Shirley Huntley Tapes Implicates Me(NYDN)

 

Asserted that Huntley helped federal officials put together a case on Attorney General Eric Schneiderman
AG dirty, too: con (NYP) Even as she got a year in jail for political corruption, Shirley Huntley dropped a bombshell allegation yesterday about the state’s top lawman  — her lawyer told the sentencing judge that the disgraced ex-state senator has informed federal investigators about “corruption involving” Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Huntley also warned the FBI that there is “a mole” in Schneiderman’s office who has leaked information, said defense lawyer Sally Butler in Brooklyn federal court. In a filing detailing the useful evidence provided by Huntley, the feds made no mention of Schneiderman. One of Huntley’s former aides, Councilman Ruben Wills, is no longer being probed by the feds after she secretly taped him. But the AG’s Office said it is still investigating Wills in connection with a missing $32,000 in state funding that Huntley had steered to a nonprofit he headed. Huntley’s attorney says her client informed federal investigators about “corruption involving” AG Eric Schneiderman, which the AG’s office blasted as lies made by a “criminal.”

JCOPE Groundhog Albany Corruption Fighting Is Done By the FBI and the U.S. Attorney
In Wake Of Scandals, Cuomo Defends JCOPE(YNN)  The June 2011 news release announcing a deal between the governor and legislative leaders on that year’s ethics legislation described JCOPE this way: “The Joint Commission will have jurisdiction to investigate potential violations of law by legislators and legislative employees and, if violations are found, issue findings to the Legislative Ethics Commission, which will have jurisdiction to impose penalties.”Cuomo today added that lawmakers need to restore the trust in government by passing his latest ethics and anti-bribery legislation.  JCOPE, meanwhile, has indicated that it will release “in full” what is widely believed to be the report detailing allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment by Assemblyman Vito Lopez.




 Albany Transparency
Or How Silver Covers Up His Involvement In the Lopez Hush Fund Scandal

  
Now We Know Silver is Holding Up Release of the JCOPE Vito Lopez Report
The New York Times reported today that lawmakers on the Legislative Ethics Commission have sought to edit the document before its realease and have zeroed in on the areas critical of staff who helped arrange the settlement money for the women who worked with Lopez. Cuomo wouldn’t comment on the story or whether the full report should be released. “I didn’t see the stories and it’s not my place to comment,” he said.   Albany Hush Fund Cover Up, Press Containment Timeline(True News)

The Women's Movement Has Changed
Would Women's Leader Bella Abzug Allow A 258 Days Public Hush Fund Albany Cover Up of Vito Lopez Sex Scandal?  The actual cover up is much longer
Before Censure, a Hushed Settlement Against Assemblyman(NYT) Aug 25, 2012









A Year Has Passed Since Wills Refused to Produce Documents Demanded By the AG
Wills' Pleads the 5th
New documents were filed related to a  controversy that erupted last week, which centered around Queens Councilman Ruben Wills’ refusal to comply with subpoena requests seeking information about his non-profit’s spending.
Court records show that on May 24, the New York attorney general’s office withdrew its “motion to compel” Wills to provide records about the spending of the non-profit, New York 4 Life, which got a $33,000 member item from State Sen. Shirley Huntley in 2008, after City Councilman Ruben Wills pled the 5th amendment in response to the Attorney General’s questions. The Attorney General’s office confirmed that Wills had pled the 5th, which amounted to a technical satisfaction of the “motion to compel,” but which had given the office no more information than they already had. The Attorney General’s office said the investigation is ongoing. The Daily News, which wrote about the case on June 11.  More on Rubin Wills who and had or has 2 arrests warrants on on him 
Wills Investigation 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 

A Dumb Daily News Reporter Asks Hank Sheinkopf About Corruption But Not His

Hammond should be thrown out of the Daily News for quoting Sheinkopf About Corruption, but not His

Reporter did you ask Sheinkopf why he took the 5th 51 times when the state IG ask him about AEG? A target of the FBI

Was Sheinkopf Long Time Smith Consultant Behind the Senators Attempt to Rip Off Public Financing
Sheinkopf took the 5th when asked questions by the NY former state Inspector General Joseph Fisch about the AEG scandal which is still being investigated by the feds as part of the AEG investigation.  The Feds are also investigating a Board Of Election (the cesspool of political corruption) contract for new machines that Sheinkopf was a lobbyist for. Feds investigate switch by Board of Elections ... - New York Post  
Sheinkopf working for Robert Williams Scandal
Behind Big Political Gifts, a Mysterious Donor - The New York Times


And Now The Cherry On Top Of The Week(YNN)

 This was blasted out by the office of the under-indictment Sen. Malcolm... 










David Griffiths, former executive director of a Bronx nonprofit and ex-law partner of state Labor Secretary Peter Rivera, will spend five months in prison for mail fraud, making false statements to the government and obstruction of justice.

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