Nassau legislators got a small scare Thursday.
The group already was on edge because of various political investigations going on around them.
For instance, federal prosecutors Thursday added a money-laundering count to the indictment against longtime Democratic Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who stepped down from his leadership post after being charged with mail fraud, wire fraud and extortion in February.
A Republican Oyster Bay Town commissioner was charged last month with tax evasion for allegedly accepting more than $2 million in payments from a town vendor without reporting the income.
Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) and his adult son Adam are reported to be under a federal investigation involving a $12 million contract that the Legislature’s Rules Committee unanimously approved in July 2013. Adam Skelos represented the company, ABTech Industries.
Political blogs have reported that Nassau state senators have been subpoenaed while County Executive Edward Mangano already testified before a federal grant jury looking into the Skelos case. And Acting District Attorney Madeline Singas had announced her own probe of the county's contracting process.
So there was one unanimous thought Thursday when the Nassau district attorney’s office hand-delivered sealed envelopes to each of the 19 county legislators at their county offices:
But, in fact, envelopes contained letters from Singas, who was requesting the legislature enact strict rules against using taxpayer money for political campaign messages.
“When the district attorney drops something off, you expect everybody to start to scatter,” one legislative staffer said Friday.
A sealed envelope from the district attorney “is the kind of message that makes people want to puke,” another staff member added.