Corruption trial for Bronx assemblyman nears close

Bronx Assemb. Eric Stevenson, left, with attorney Murray

Bronx Assemb. Eric Stevenson, left, with attorney Murray Richman, leaves federal court in Manhattan. (April 4, 2013) (Credit: Craig Ruttle)

Bronx Assemb. Eric Stevenson decided not to testify in his federal corruption trial on Friday and both sides rested, setting the stage for closing arguments on Monday.

In one of several political corruption cases that have focused attention on Albany ethics, Stevenson, 47, is accused of taking more than $20,000 in bribes from a group of Russian businessmen who wanted support for some adult day care centers they were promoting.

Informant Sigfredo Gonzalez, a Bronx political operative, was the government's star witness, testifying that he passed bribes to Stevenson. Gonzalez began cooperating after he was caught trying to bribe former Assemb. Nelson Castro, who was an informant.

Stevenson, a Democrat in his second term, faces up to 55 years in prison.

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