Empire of Corruption

The Story

The conviction of former state senate president Dean Skelos on corruption charges was overturned last week after review under the state Supreme Court’s stricter guidelines for prosecuting such cases. Skelos follows former assembly speaker Sheldon Silver in getting a reprieve, though prosecutors appear ready to retry both men. New Yorkers should hope that these successful appeals don’t embolden the political class to resume converting public service into private wealth.

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. First is Worst: New York State leads the nation in public corruption cases. Read more.

  2. Rotten: A scaffold of consultants and lobbyists reinforces the Empire State’s pay-to-play political culture. Read more.

  3. Cutting it Close: State and federal investigations of corruption in Mayor de Blasio’s administration determined that the mayor violated the “intent and spirit of the laws that impose candidate contribution limits.” Read more.

“There’s no incentive for the people in control to reform the system, because it works for them.”

Susan Lerner, Common Cause New York

Twitter Take

The Past is Present

Spitzer’s Next Target By William J. Stern (January 2004)

“The workers had, among other crooked activities, fed attendees at political campaign events with provisions paid for with government money and originally intended for AIDS patients.”

And in other news...

“New York City’s top fiscal official said that subway delays are costing the city economy as much as $389 million annually in lost wages and productivity.”