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Prosecutors say in filing Adam Skelos tried to get work from diner group

Former State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, right,

Former State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, right, and his son Adam Skelos, left, enter Southern District Federal Court in Manhattan on July 30, 2015. Photo Credit: Anthony Lanzilote

Federal prosecutors want to introduce evidence in the upcoming corruption trial of Sen. Dean Skelos that his son tried to use Skelos' power to squeeze work out of a group representing Greek diners and that the state senator tried to use his clout to place his daughter-in-law on a Nassau County town zoning board.

In yesterday's filing in federal court in Manhattan, prosecutors did not name the town board but said Adam Skelos, who has also been charged with his father, "discussed . . . his ability to corruptly obtain zoning decisions favorable to real estate deals he brokered given his wife's appointment."

The government's filing urged U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood to allow evidence of the two allegations to buttress criminal charges that Dean Skelos, who led the Senate's Republican majority, used his power to get work for Adam Skelos from an environmental company, a malpractice insurer and a developer.

Skelos, 67, of Rockville Centre, is scheduled to go on trial Nov. 16. Adam Skelos, 32, and his wife, Ann Marie, are also residents of Rockville Centre.

In a brief description of the material they wanted to admit, prosecutors said the zoning board evidence included calls between Adam and Dean Skelos discussing efforts to secure the post and the "salary and health benefits (she) would get from the position."

The Greek diner organization, prosecutors said, was solicited by Adam Skelos for commissioned sales business from the group and during a phone call he invoked his father's power, saying that if the group wanted to "utilize" his "reach," it needed to set up a meeting with him.

During the call -- on Christmas Day, according to a transcript -- Adam Skelos berated an official with the group for failing to jump quickly enough at his solicitation, telling him it was "a privilege" to have Skelos' cellphone number.

When the man asked what he meant by his "reach," Skelos said, "I'm not gonna go there. I'm not going to say this on the phone. You could've heard those opportunities in person."

Prosecutors also signaled that if Dean Skelos takes the stand at trial, they will introduce evidence on cross examination that he lied to the public about his outside work for the Uniondale law firm of Ruskin Moscou Faltischek when he asserted that he was walled off from its lobbying work.

They said that as "just one example" they had emails indicating that in 2009 Skelos -- who allegedly earned $2.6 million from the firm since 1994 -- agreed to meet with a law firm client who owned several pharmacies on "legislative issues relating to pharmacies."

Several pages of the 35-page memo on evidence the government wants to introduce against Skelos were blacked out and marked "under seal."

Lawyers for the Skeloses did not respond to emails asking if they wanted to comment.

In their own filings Friday, the defense lawyers urged Wood to keep out several items the government didn't mention -- including wiretapped calls discussing a contact with "Senator A" to help an associate of Adam Skelos with a traffic ticket and calls discussing "political issues and arguments between politicians" that could cause "embarrassment to third parties."

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