Huntley’s Colleagues Caught On Wiretap
A federal judge today unsealed a sentencing letter sent by the attorney of ex-Sen. Shirely Huntley revealing the names of the nine people she held wiretapped conversations with in her home during the summer of 2012.
The names include six sitting Democratic members of the state Senate: John Sampson, Eric Adams, Ruth Hassell-Thompson, Jose Peralta, Malcolm Smith and Velmanette Montgomery.
Huntley also spoke to Melvin Lowe, identified in the letter from attorney Sally Butler as a “former political consultant and associate of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman” and City Councilman Rubin Wills. Also named is Curtis Taylor, a former press aide to Smith.
Sampson was arrested this week for allegedly embezzling $440,000 in escrow funds from mortgage foreclosure settlements in order to fund his Brooklyn district attorney’s race.
Smith was arrested in April and accused by federal law enforcement of seeking to bribe
It remains unclear from the letter which of the nine is not currently facing a criminal investigation or which lawmaker helped arrange the deal to provide favorable access to an expanding business at JFK Airport in Huntley’s district. Prosecutors on Tuesday indicated that at least one person is not under federal investigation.
And that lawmakers and others are named in the document is not indicative that they had done anything illegal.
Regardless, the saga of the corruption cases in Albany is reaching a scale that hasn’t been seen in modern times at the Capitol and the release of the sentencing document today is a sharp turn for the Legislature.
Huntley, a former Democratic senator who pleaded guilty in her own corruption case, admitted to having received a $1,000 bribe from the businessman.
In the letter, Huntley’s lawyer writes that the then-lamwkaer had met with agents for the Federal Bureau of Investigation over a six-month period, telling them she had information on what she believed to be corrupt activity.
“Mrs. Huntley met with attorneys for the government and FBI agents regularly over a six-month period,” Butler wrote. “During her interviews with the government, she advised them that she had knowledge of what she believed to be corruption involving public officials. She was asked by the government’s attorneys and FBI agents to invite certain individuals into her home and record conversations on behest of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. She willing did as they had requested.”
Prosecutors for the Eastern District Attorney’s Office had sought to keep the names private, saying releasing the information could harm ongoing investigations. Federal Judge Jack Weinstein, however, ruled the document should be released.
Senate Democratic spokesman Mike Murphy released a statement shortly after the sentencing document was released.
“This is an extremely trying time in Albany,” Murphy said. “If any charges are brought the conference will take appropriate action.”
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on May 8, 2013 at 2:24 pm, and is filed under State Senate. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|