Now that a bribery scandal has shook the state Capitol for the second time in three days, it’s time to bring back our semi-regular feature: A roll call of New York’s troubled lawmakers.
Unfortunately, we’re bringing this list back sooner than most had hoped. But the circumstances call for it; Assemblyman Eric Stevenson was arrested in a bribery plot earlier Thursday, less than two days since Sen. Malcolm Smith was accused of trying to buy his way into the New York City mayor’s race.
A separate, unnamed assemblyman—who cooperated with authorities—is set to resign as soon as today, according to the criminal complaint against Stevenson.
The latest count of lawmakers with ethical or legal troubles since 2000? 29, according to our list. And that’s not counting former Gov. Eliot Spitzer (who resigned in a prostitution scandal) or former Comptroller Alan Hevesi (who was convicted for his role in a pension fund scandal). (UPDATED with details on Castro.)
Here’s the updated list:
- 2013: Assemblyman Eric Stevenson, D-Bronx: Charged with accepting bribes in exchange for helping developers get proper building permits and expediting approval processes, as well as introducing a bill that would prohibit new adult day care centers in the Bronx. Remains in office.
- 2013: Assemblyman Nelson Castro, D-Bronx: Announced his resignation after it was revealed he had been indicted on perjury charges in 2009 and had been working as an informant ever since. Had charges dropped in exchange for cooperating with investigators and wearing a wire.
- 2013: Sen. Malcolm Smith, D-Queens: Charged with conspiracy, extortion and wire fraud as part of a bribery scheme to petition his way on the Republican ballot for the New York City mayoral race; Remains in office.
- 2013: Assemblyman Steve Katz, R-Yorktown, Westchester County: Charged with marijuana possession after a traffic stop in Albany County. Currently awaiting appearance before judge; Remains in office.
- 2012: Assemblyman Vito Lopez, D-Brooklyn: Part of an Assembly settlement after he was accused of sexually harassing at least four female employees. Currently the subject of probes by the Joint Commission on Public Ethics and a special prosecutor; Remains in office.
- 2012: Former Sen. Nicholas Spano, R-Yonkers: Pleaded guilty to federal tax charges after failing to pay $45,000 between 2000 and 2008. Currently serving prison sentence in Brooklyn.
- 2012: Sen. Shirley Huntley, D-Queens: Lost re-election bid after she was indicted on federal fraud embezzlement charges. Pleaded guilty in January 2013 of embezzling $87,700 in public funds for personal use. In February, pleaded guilty to separate plea as part of attempted cover-up.
- 2011: Assemblyman William Boyland, D-Brooklyn: First indicted—and later acquitted—with federal corruption charges as part of a decade-long bribery scheme. Currently facing separate charges of soliciting $250,000 while his first case was in trial. Charged in 2013 of falsely collecting tens of thousands of dollars of travel vouchers for trips to Albany.
- 2011: Sen. Carl Kruger, D-Brooklyn: Pleaded guilty to bribery charges for collecting about $1 million in payments from businesses that had dealings with the state.
- 2010: Sen. Pedro Espada, D-Bronx: Lost primary in 2010 following corruption investigation and other ethical issues. Was later indicted on various corruption charges by the Attorney General and federal prosecutors.
- 2010: Sen. Hiram Monserrate, D-Queens: Expelled in February 2010 by vote of the Senate due to misdemeanor assault conviction involving his girlfriend.
- 2010: Sen. Vincent Leibell, R-Patterson, Putnam County: Resigned before end of Senate term and pleaded guilty to felony corruption charges. Didn’t seek re-election in 2010 and won election as Putnam County executive, but didn’t take office. Serving 21 months in prison.
- 2010: Assemblyman Adam Clayton Powell IV, D-Manhattan: Convicted of driving while impaired and had his license suspended for 90 days.
- 2009: Assemblyman Anthony Seminerio, D-Queens: Resigned from the Assembly after federal indictment. Pleaded guilty to single count of theft of honest services for taking bribes. Died in prison.
- 2008: Sen. John Sabini, D-Queens: Appointed head of State Racing and Wagering Board after pleading guilty to DWI earlier that year.
- 2008: Assemblywoman Diane Gordon, D-Bronx: Found guilty of taking bribes; tried to steer city- owned land to a private developer in exchange for a house.
- 2008: Sen. Joseph Bruno, R-Brunswick, Rensselaer County: Former powerful majority leader retired from Senate amid pending federal investigation for corruption. Was indicted on eight charges and was found guilty of two after trial. Conviction was vacated; Facing new trial.
- 2008: Sen. Efrain Gonzalez, D-Bronx: Was indicted on federal mail fraud and lost election as result of federal investigation; he later pleaded guilty to two charges of mail fraud and two charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud.
- 2008: Assemblyman Sam Hoyt, D-Buffalo: Prohibiting from participating in the Assembly’s internship program after the chamber’s ethics committee found he had an “inappropriate personal relationship” with a 23-year-old intern in 2003.
- 2008: Assemblyman Michael Cole, R-Alden, Erie County: Lost primary after being censured by Assembly and stripped of committee posts due to his spending the night in the apartment of an Albany intern.
- 2007: Assemblyman Karim Camara, D-Brooklyn: Charged with driving while intoxicated on an Albany street. Pleaded guilty to driving while ability impaired, a violation, and paid a fine in 2008.
- 2006: Assemblywoman Ada Smith, D-Queens: Lost primary election after being found guilty of harassment; accused of throwing coffee in a staff member’s face. Was censured by Senate minority leader for “a pattern of inappropriate, unprofessional and often abusive behavior.”
- 2006: Assemblyman Brian McLaughlin, D-Queens: Resigned amidst corruption indictment; pleaded guilty to racketeering after being arrested on charges of embezzling more than $2 million in state and labor funds.
- 2005: Assemblyman Ryan Karben, D-Monsey, Rockland County: Resigned from Assembly amid charges of improper fraternization with interns.
- 2005: Assemblyman Clarence Norman, D-Brooklyn: Found guilty on three felony counts, including intentionally soliciting illegal campaign contributions, stealing $5,000 donated to his reelection, and falsifying business records. Got one to three years in prison for judicial extortion scheme.
- 2004: Sen. Guy Velella, R-Bronx: Resigned Senate after pleading guilty to bribery. He received a one-year sentence and spent 182 days in jail. Died in January.
- 2004: Assemblyman Roger Green, D-Brooklyn: Pleaded guilty to two counts of petty larceny and one count of filing a false instrument (false billing of Assembly travel expenses). Ran for re- election and won. In 2006, he unsuccessfully ran for Congress.
- 2003: Assemblywoman Gloria Davis, D-Bronx: Resigned after pleading guilty to taking bribes.
- 2000: Assemblyman Jerry Johnson, R-Nunda, Livingston County: Pleaded guilty to second degree attempted burglary; felony charge required resignation from office.
(AP file photo)