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NYC political scandals

There's never been a lack of political scandal in New York, especially when it involves Albany. From Sheldon Silver to Michael Grimm, here are some of the most infamous recent political scandals to rock the state.

Michael Grimm

Michael Grimm became famous nationally last year after
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Michael Graae

Michael Grimm became famous nationally last year after he threatened NY1 reporter Michael Scotto, saying he would "throw [Scotto] off this [expletive] balcony" and "break [him] in half. Like a boy." PR disaster aside, he was the subject of a federal investigation at the time and was indicted on 20 counts alleging fraud at his health food store, Healthalicious. He pleaded guilty to a single charge of felony tax fraud, and he faces up to six years in prison. He resigned from Congress in December. Grimm was sentenced to 8 months in prison on July 17, to start on Sept. 10.

Dean Skelos

New York State Senate majority leader Dean Skelos
Photo Credit: Newsday / Alejandra Villa

New York State Senate majority leader Dean Skelos is the latest politician to be snared in U.S. attorney Preet Bharara's investigation into corruption. Skelos, Long Island's most powerful politician in Albany, and his son, Adam Skelos, were taken into custody on May 4, 2015. While the official charges have to be disclosed, sources say they are likely related to a contract with an Arizona-based environmental firm called AbTech that won a Nassau County bid, despite having employed Adam Skelos as a consultant and having not entered the lowest bid.

Sheldon Silver

NY's longtime Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, from the
Photo Credit: Newsday / Audrey C. Tiernan

NY's longtime Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, from the Lower East Side, turned himself in to federal authorities on January 22, 2015. Silver was arrested and charged in a criminal complaint with five counts of corruption relating to millions in alleged kickbacks and bribes while giving legal referrals. It's likely he will relinquish his speakership after Democrats gave him six days to resign or face removal by his party. Silver has held the position for 21 years, but he said he would not resign his Assembly seat.

Anthony Weiner

Queens Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner first landed in
Photo Credit: Getty Images/Andrew Burton

Queens Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner first landed in the public eye after a video of a speech on healthcare went viral, but less than a year later he was caught sending lewd photos to women on Twitter after accidentally sending one to all of his Twitter followers. After three weeks being raked over the coals of the evening talk shows, he went into rehab for sex therapy and then resigned from Congress. In 2013, he staged a comeback to politics by entering the New York mayoral race.

Within two months, more lewd photos were uncovered, but this time, he stayed in the race. Things only got worse when a communications director gave a profane interview about a former intern. Weiner only won 5 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary, and eventually conceded--but not before giving a reporter the finger on the way out.

Malcolm Smith

In 2013, Queens state senator Malcolm Smith was
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Paul Zimmerman

In 2013, Queens state senator Malcolm Smith was arrested for allegedly trying to bribe his way onto the Republican ballot in the New York mayoral election. Although a mistrial was declared in 2014, Smith overwhelmingly lost his re-election bid a few months later. Smith was convicted on February 5 on all four federal bribery charges. He faces up to 45 years in prison.

Vincent Tabone

Vincent Tabone, the former vice chairman of the
Photo Credit: Lili Holzer-Glier

Vincent Tabone, the former vice chairman of the Queens Republican Party, was charged with bribery along with Malcolm Smith in the plot to get Smith's name on the 2013 primary ballot for mayor. A judge declared a mistrial in June, and a retrial has been scheduled for January 2015.

Daniel Halloran III

The third defendant in the corruption trial related
Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

The third defendant in the corruption trial related to the effort to get Malcolm Smith on the ballot for mayor in 2013, former City Councilman Daniel Halloran was convicted in August 2014 of taking bribes from two undercover FBI agents. The U.S. Probation Department in January 2015 recommended between 6 1/2 and 8 1/2 years in prison for Halloran.

Shirley Huntley

Former Brooklyn State Senator Shirley Huntley pleaded guilty
Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

Former Brooklyn State Senator Shirley Huntley pleaded guilty in 2012 to stealing $88,000 from a nonprofit charity she ran. In May 2013, she cooperated with authorities and secretly recorded at least six other elected officials, including John Sampson and Malcolm Smith, both of whom were later indicted in a corruption plot. In exchange for her cooperation, a judge sentenced her to just one year and one day in prison – less than the sentencing guidelines of 18 months to two years.

Hiram Monserrate

Former Queens state senator and city councilman Hiram
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Pool / Ellis Kaplan

Former Queens state senator and city councilman Hiram Monserrate, part of the 2009 coup against the Democratic leadership in Albany, gained notoriety later that year when he was accused of slashing his girlfriend in the face and dragging her through the lobby of the building after an argument. He was convicted of misdemeanor assault in 2010, but was acquitted of the more serious felony charges that would have sent him to jail. But he did end up in jail eventually: He pleaded guilty in 2012 to embezzlement charges stemming from the misuse of $100,000 in city money to help pay for his one of his senate campaigns. He was sentenced to two years in prison, which he began serving in May 2013.

Pedro Espada

Bronx State Senator Pedro Espada, who had led
Photo Credit: Steven Sunshine

Bronx State Senator Pedro Espada, who had led a challenge against the Democratic leadership in Albany in 2009 that paralyzed state government, was convicted in 2012 of stealing $400,000 from Soundview Health Center, a group of health clinics he helped found. Espada later pleaded guilty to tax evasion to resolve the remaining charges against him. He was sentenced to five years in prison in June 2013, and he is now serving his sentence at a federal prison.

Charles Rangel

Rep. Charles Rangel has represented Harlem in Congress
Photo Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Rep. Charles Rangel has represented Harlem in Congress for 44 years. In 2010, a House ethics panel found him guilty of 11 counts of ethics violations for failing to pay some taxes, improperly soliciting charitable donations and failure to report all his personal income. Rangel said that the charge that he had failed to pay taxes on the rental income from a Dominican beach house was an error, and refused to mount a defense against charges and walked out of the hearing. Despite the allegations that were splashed on NY's tabloid pages, Rangel won reelection for a 21st term in November 2010. He faced his toughest re-election challenge yet in a Democratic primary in 2014 from Adriano Espaillat, with Rangel narrowly claiming victory.

David Paterson

Former Gov. David Paterson's administration was plagued by
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Former Gov. David Paterson's administration was plagued by scandal from the start, when he took over when Eliot Spitzer resigned in 2008. The first African-American NY governor (and also the state's first partially blind governor), Paterson admitted within days that he had a years-long affair while he was married. In 2010, he was accused of interfering with a domestic-abuse case involving an aide a year earlier. The New York State Commission on Public Integrity in 2010 accused him of falsely testifying during a hearing into his acceptance of the 2009 World Series. The panel said he (or a person in his office) backdated a check a personal check after being asked about being given five free tickets to Game 1 of the World Series. He faced a penalty of $2,125 value of the tickets and $60,000 for three violations of the state’s public officer’s law. He finished his term in 2010, but did not seek a full four-year term. Since then, he has rebounded: The New York State Democratic Party named him chairman in 2014.

Eliot Spitzer

NY Gov. Eliot Spitzer, once known as the
Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

NY Gov. Eliot Spitzer, once known as the "Sheriff of Wall Street," resigned on March 12, 2008, days after a New York Times investigation found that he patronized an escort service while in office. He admitted "personal failings" and said he would devote himself to serving the "common good." He resurfaced two years later with a show on CNN that aired its final episode on August 5, 2011. Spitzer ran for the 2013 Democratic nomination for New York City Comptroller and lost by only 3.5 percent of the vote.

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