dean skelos

Matt Ryan / WMHT

Senate Democrats are optimistic about their chances for winning a special election in April to replace convicted ex Senate Leader Dean Skelos .

Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins, in an interview with public radio and television,  predicts the Democratic candidate in the race for the Skelos seat , Assemblyman and former prosecutor  Todd Kaminsky, will do “quite well”, and represents “a break from the past”.

“Which frankly, voters out there deserve and need,” Stewart Cousins said.

Kaminsky faces Republican Attorney Chris McGrath.

Karen DeWitt

  The second legislative leader to be convicted of corruption has now filed his retirement papers, and is eligible for an annual pension that could nearly reach six figures.

Karen Dewitt

  2015 saw the fall of two of the three most powerful people in state government, and the rise of one US Attorney. 

Less than a year ago, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Leader Dean Skelos led the legislature. They were both at Governor Cuomo’s State of the State speech on January 21, sitting on stage , where Cuomo acknowledged his partners in the government triumvirate.

“To a good year, Dean,” Cuomo said, to applause from the assembled lawmakers and lobbyists in the cavernous auditorium. “ It’s a pleasure to be with you Mr. Speaker.”

Karen DeWitt

  The second of the state legislature’s two former leaders has now been convicted on multiple corruption charges, after a jury lost no time in finding former Senate Leader Dean Skelos and son Adam guilty on all eight counts.

Dean Skelos and his son Adam were found guilty of charges including extortion and bribery, after prosecutors said they schemed to use the former Senate Leader’s influence with the real estate industry to obtain no show jobs for his son.

With the conviction, Skelos automatically loses his seat in the Senate.

Matt Ryan/WMHT

The conviction of Sheldon Silver on corruption charges is not the end of legal proceedings for the former Assembly Speaker. He and his lawyers are expected to provide details of their appeal of the case, as well as ask the trial judge to override the jury’s conclusions and retroactively acquit Silver.