At age 20, Adam Skelos interned with then-Gov. George Pataki's administration.
At 25, he went to work at a Jericho title insurance company that touted him in a news release as a "proven self-starter."
Several years later, after Skelos had moved to another title company, its website called him a "major success in delivering multimillion dollar commercial and residential closings."
Now, Skelos and his father, State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre), face federal extortion, conspiracy and bribery charges in what prosecutors call the senator's "monetizing" of his office to "take care of Adam's needs."
According to the charges filed Monday, Adam Skelos was paid more than $200,000 by companies close to Dean Skelos to land public contracts.
Adam Skelos, 32, of Rockville Centre, has said through his attorney, Christopher Conniff, that he "is not guilty of these charges." Neither he nor Conniff have returned messages seeking further comment, and all of Adam Skelos' past and current employers declined to comment or didn't return calls.
Dean Skelos has also declared his innocence and Tuesday defended Adam Skelos by saying children of elected officials deserved to make a living.
"They shouldn't be penalized by the title of their father," Dean Skelos said in Albany.
A review of public records and news reports shows that Adam Skelos has held a series of jobs at title companies, offices of public officials or entities run by political appointees.
He has had internships or jobs at the Long Island Power Authority, whose trustees are appointed by the governor and state legislative leaders; Davidoff Malito & Hutcher LLP, a Garden City law firm that has employed former Republican and Democratic officials, and the Bridgeview Yacht Club in Island Park, whose owner is a friend of former Republican U.S. Sen. Alfonse D'Amato.
In 2002, shortly after graduating from South Side High School in Rockville Centre -- his father's alma mater -- Adam Skelos landed an internship as assistant to Pataki's Nassau County director, according to news reports. A 2008 news release by Liberty Title, another Skelos, said he did "constituent case work" and "attended key regional events with the governor's regional director."
Adam Skelos attended Hofstra University and graduated in 2007 with a bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary sciences, university records show.
In 2008, he joined Liberty Title Agency, of Jericho, as an account executive. In a news release, the company called him a "proven self-starter with creative problem-solving and decision-making abilities."
Liberty Title closed in 2009 after its president, Bruce Madden, was accused of embezzlement. He later pleaded guilty to insurance fraud and was sentenced to 20 months in prison.
In 2009, Adam Skelos was hired by Chicago Title in Mineola. About that time, he also made $2,881 for work on then-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's campaign, campaign finance records show.
In July 2011, Adam Skelos moved to East Coast Abstract, a Garden City title company. He is listed on the company website as a vice president. The entry says Skelos had delivered "multimillion dollar commercial and residential closings."
The federal complaint alleged that in 2011, Adam Skelos worked with Dean Skelos to secure title insurance work for the refinancing of "hundreds of millions of dollars in bonds" for a large hospital system, and lobbied the Nassau Industrial Development Agency for approval of the deal.
It also alleged that Dean Skelos' law firm, Ruskin Moscou Faltischek of Uniondale, "steered title insurance work to Adam Skelos," including a $32.6 million real estate transaction, at Dean Skelos' request.
The complaint also says that from 2010 to 2014, Dean Skelos gave his son more than $100,000, the complaint alleges, and helped him earn income as a salesman "for various services marketed principally to business that made political contributions to Dean Skelos and/or had substantial interests before New York State and local government entities."
In July 2003, Nassau police arrested Adam Skelos, then 21, on a burglary charge. A Newsday story said Skelos broke into his girlfriend's Rockville Centre home after she refused to let him in or speak to him.
Court records show the felony was dismissed in July 2004, when Adam Skelos pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct violation, and received a one-year conditional discharge.
"As a father I am in enormous pain," Dean Skelos said at the time of the arrest.
But, he added: "I love my son and I will stand with him as he answers the allegations."
With Robert Brodsky, Yancey Roy and David M. Schwartz