Skelos: Criminal Complaint A ‘Press Release’
A defiant Dean Skelos on Tuesday insisted to reporters he has no plans to step down as majority leader of the state Senate, saying that he is able to negotiate the end of session issues facing the Legislature.
“It’s a very simple reason: I’m innocent,” Skelos said. “If you’re innocent, there’s nothing that you have to run away from or hide from. My conference knows that I’m innocent and we’re ready to govern. That’s what it’s about.”
The comments made by Skelos this afternoon were his most extensive given since he surrendered to federal authorities Monday morning alongside his adult son Adam.
Both father and son are accused of using the elder Skelos’s position to unduly influence public policy in order to aid an Arizona-based company that employed Adam Skelos.
The embattled majority leader came out swinging against the charges this afternoon following his appearance at a police memorial service.
He made unusually pointed remarks aimed at both reporters as well as the Republicans — some of whom are in his won conference — who have called on him to relinquish his leadership post.
“Sometimes, Republicans have nothing to do but complain because they can’t do anything else,” he said.
Skelos on Monday night met privately with his GOP colleagues, who affirmed their support for him following the three-hour meeting at the Capitol.
Skelos knocked the 43-page criminal complaint unsealed on Monday as a “press release” adding that he’ll fight the charges.
“I’m going to fight them aggressively, I’ve assured that we’re going to be successful,” he said. “The complaint is nothing more than a press release and as we move forward, I’ve been assured we’re going to be successful.”
Skelos also insisted that his standing as the majority leader wasn’t hindered because of the charges.
Still, questions remain: Skelos will have to negotiate the extension of rent control laws and the 421a tax abatement, which he is accused of placing inappropriate influence on in 2011, according to the complaint.
“All those issues are something that’s going to be negotiated,” Skelo said. “Rent control, mayoral control, that’s all going to be negotiated.”
Similarly, Skelos insisted that he remained in good standing with his Nassau County constituents.
“I have never received more positive comments from people in my district as I have today,” Skelos said. “They know me, they know I’m honest, they know I’ve served them well.”
As for whether the pending trial will hurt the GOP’s chances of retaining the majority next year, Skelos called that a “long way away.”
“We’re going to win because we’re right on the issues and the Senate Democrats have proved in the past that they have no concept on how to govern,” he said.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on May 5, 2015 at 2:42 pm, and is filed under Dean Skelos. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|