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Pols among writers of 184 letters on Dean Skelos’ behalf

Former New York State Senate Leader Dean

Former New York State Senate Leader Dean Skelos arrives at federal court in Manhattan on Friday, Dec. 11, 2015. Credit: John Roca

Current and former elected officials were among the authors of 184 letters recently filed in court in support of ex-Senate GOP Majority Leader Dean Skelos of Rockville Centre before he’s sentenced for federal corruption crimes.

State Sen. Simcha Felder (D-Brooklyn), who helped Skelos’ Republicans control the chamber, said the leader “made sure to greet the cleaning and clerical staff.” Former Valley Stream Mayor John DeGrace said Skelos “is, and was, a giver, not a taker.” Democratic Long Beach City Councilwoman Eileen Goggin, a family friend, revealed that Skelos “saved my job” when Republican Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano won election in 2009 and was firing many of Democrat Thomas Suozzi’s deputy county attorneys.

Skelos was convicted of extortion and bribery schemes to aid his son Adam Skelos. Frederick Parola, a former GOP Nassau County comptroller, opined that “he intervened for the security of his grandchildren and his son. There is nothing sinister in this, but subjective opinion and testimony found it so.”

Ascribing Skelos as well-meaning was a theme in the letters asking the court for leniency. “Sometimes love can cloud our judgment,” said Francis Becker, a former Republican Nassau County legislator.

— Paul LaRocco

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