ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) – The leader of the New York state Senate said Wednesday that he won’t resign his leadership post amid a federal investigation into the awarding of a $12 million stormwater contract on Long Island.
Republican Dean Skelos told reporters that he has hired an attorney in response to the investigation but said he had no plans to step down.
“We’re cooperating fully,” he said.
The probe focuses on whether Skelos influenced Nassau County’s decision to award the 2013 contract to Arizona-based AbTech, even though it did not submit the lowest bid for the project.
Skelos’ son Adam, 32, worked for the company as a consultant but is no longer employed there.
In a statement, AbTech said it is cooperating with authorities and is not considered a target in the probe.
“The process through which local authorities selected AbTech was comprehensive and diligent, involving several levels of Nassau County government,” the company said. “AbTech is proud — to have earned this contract after a thorough and fair review process conducted by Nassau County.”
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s office has not commented on the case. Bharara has called Albany a “cauldron of corruption.”
The investigation of Skelos comes three months after former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, was accused of accepting nearly $4 million in payoffs. Silver gave up his leadership post but is keeping his legislative seat as he fights the charges. Earlier this month, Silver’s son-in-law was charged in a $7 million Ponzi scheme.
Another top Senate leader, Sen. Thomas Libous, R-Binghamton, has pleaded not guilty to a federal charge that he lied to the FBI about using his clout to arrange a job for his son, who was convicted earlier this year of filing false income tax returns.
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