NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Former New York State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos has been sentenced to spend more than four years in prison following his conviction in a corruption retrial.
Prosecutors had asked the judge to sentence the 70-year-old to more than five years, which is what he received after his 2015 conviction. That conviction was overturned on appeal, because of an error in the instructions given to jurors.
Prosecutors said Skelos lied under oath during his retrial and, therefore, they believe he deserves more time.
U.S. District Judge Kimba M. Wood sentenced him to four years and three months on Wednesday, citing health challenges.
She said Skelos had caused “immeasurable damage” to the respect New Yorkers have in their state government and she cited the need to send a message to other politicians who might contemplate taking advantage of their power to earn illicit income.
Prosecutors said Skelos used his power to pressure companies into giving Adam six-figure, low-show jobs. Those companies relied on legislation that Skelos could push through.
During his retrial, he testified that he was only trying to help his son and asked friends for favors but did not solicit bribes.
Skelos’ lawyers pleaded for leniency, reportedly arguing the one-time powerful Republican from Rockville Centre is suffering from depression and alcohol abuse.
His attorneys also said the trial and retrial have put an extreme strain on the relationship between the father and son.
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