Eric Stevenson, the Bronx Democrat who was just arrested earlier today on federal corruption charges made a statement to a cooperating witness that would seem alarming in most political circles, but is simply run-of-the-mill politics around these parts.
Revealed in the complaint brought by the U.S. attorney’s office was a conversation Stevenson had with a witness, in which they discuss the recent release of former State Comptroller Alan Hevesi from prison.
Stevenson, in the act of committing corrupt actions, tells the witness that half of Albany would probably be in prison if they were ever caught committing their corrupt acts.
Via Capitol Confidential:
Later, the two discussed former Comptroller Alan Hevesi, who had recently been released from prison:
STEVENSON said, “Bottom line, … if half of the people up here in Albany was ever caught for what they do … they … would probably be in the same place” as Hevesi, “so who are they bulls___ing?” STEVENSON said that “they did cut [Hevesi] a break” because “what he did, they could have gave him a lot more time for …. They was million [of dollars].” STEVENSON and the CW then discussed examples of other New York State and City officials who were convicted of corruption-related crimes.
Meanwhile, State Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin is calling on the governor’s office to get more involved by instituting a Moreland Commission to investigate corruption in the Legislature.
Here is the statement released on McLaughlin’s website today:
It’s getting to the point that it’s news when a day goes by and a New York City politician doesn’t get arrested. In the last two years, we have seen former Senators Pedro Espada, Hiram Monserrate and Shirley Huntley face the courts over numerous breaches of public trust charges. We’ve seen Assemblyman William Boyland solicit bribes from an undercover FBI agent, not once, but twice. Senator Malcolm Smith, along with several other politicians, was arrested Tuesday in an alleged plot to bribe his way into the New York City mayor’s race. Today, it was revealed that Assemblyman Eric Stevenson of the Bronx faces bribery, conspiracy and other charges, and Assemblyman Nelson Castro, who has been charged with several felonies under a sealed indictment and has been cooperating with the feds, has resigned due to his role in this latest “bribe-gate.”
The corruption over the last two years has been far worse than in recent memory. These corrupt politicians do stop government from operating more efficiently, do give Albany a black eye and it doestake away from any successes Albany has made, especially strengthening public perception. State government has not been working better than it’s worked in many years because we still have too many rotten seeds in the apple.
Albany will never improve until the people of New YorkState wake up, stop sending criminals into elected office and drain the swamp of these corrupt politicians. It’s sickening that New Yorkers are subjected to this and another reason why they’re fleeing the state like it’s on fire.
To my honest colleagues in state government: staying silent in the face of corruption only enables it to continue.
To this day, I am the only legislator in Albany, in both the Assembly and Senate, who has publicly called on Assemblyman William Boyland to resign. Mr. Boyland has been ripping off the taxpayers by getting reimbursed for expenses he never incurred, should never have claimed, and was not entitled to receive. Mr. Boyland had been using his position as an assemblyman to collect per diem payments for days when he was not conducting legislative business. We then discovered, through a federal indictment, that the reason he was not in Albany doing his job as assemblyman was that he was in New York City soliciting bribes from undercover FBI agents. Taxpayers should not be expected to pay a salary to someone who has repeatedly stolen money from them. Yet where are the calls for his resignation along with Stevenson and Castro?
If the governor wants to get serious about cleaning up the filth in Albany, now would be the time to enact a Moreland Commission, an initiative he claims to fully support, and investigate the massive corruption that still lingers at the Capitol. New Yorkers are continuing to lose faith in their state government and elected officials. The governor cannot continue to claim New York is better off today than it has been in years until he exercises his power for the Moreland Commission and rids the Capitol of these corrupt politicians.
McLaughlin is right – the feds are cleaning house in New York state government, while the governor who promised to clean up the scene in Albany has failed miserably at keeping his promises.