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Dean Skelos faces new allegation in federal indictment

Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) on

Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) on Feb. 10, 2014, in Albany. Credit: AP / Mike Groll

State Sen. Dean Skelos secured a no-show job with over $100,000 in payments and health benefits for his son, Adam, from a malpractice insurer that was actively lobbying on legislative matters, according to a new allegation in a federal indictment filed Thursday.

The new accusation was included in a six-count Manhattan federal court indictment alleging conspiracy, extortion and soliciting bribes against Dean and Adam Skelos that otherwise echoed a May 4 complaint charging the two with a scheme to get businesses to pay for legislative favors.

Like the complaint, a grand jury charged that Dean Skelos tried to "monetize" his power as Senate majority leader by getting an environmental firm and a developer -- AbTech Industries and Glenwood Management, sources say -- to hire and pay commissions to Adam.

It cited the $100,000 from the malpractice company as part of the same shakedown pattern as title insurance commissions arranged by Glenwood and payments from AbTech, but did not name the malpractice insurer or detail its legislative interests.

Dean Skelos, 67, and Adam, 32, both of Rockville Centre, have pledged to fight the charges. Their lawyers did not reply to requests for comment Thursday. The case was assigned to U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood, who has not set a date for them to appear.

The 22-page indictment marked the latest development in an unfolding scandal in Albany that has also produced charges against one-time Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who stepped down from his leadership post, and left politicians worried about where the next shoe will drop.

It accuses Skelos, who stepped down as the Senate's Republican leader earlier this month but continues to represent his Nassau County district, and his son of using reminders of the majority leader's power to "reward and punish" in order to get campaign donors and firms with state business to help Adam.

It says Adam Skelos got $220,000 through Glenwood, which had interests in legislation on tax abatements and rent regulation, and AbTech, a small Arizona company marketing storm-water antipollution devices to Nassau County and looking to grow sales through statewide legislation on fracking.

The grand jury didn't allege what the medical malpractice insurer wanted. But Blair Horner of the New York Public Interest Research Group said such companies -- the two largest are Medical Liability Mutual Insurance Co. of New York City and Physicians Reciprocal Insurers of Roslyn -- lobby on regulatory issues and tort reform proposals.

The new indictment charges Skelos father and son each with two counts of conspiracy, two of extortion and two of bribe solicitation.

It seeks forfeiture of two Adam Skelos bank accounts worth a total of $299,000, and his home at 29 Leon Ct. in Rockville Centre, which is assessed at $529,600.

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