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Skelos not stepping down amid federal probe

ALBANY - Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos said Wednesday that he's not stepping down amid a federal inquiry, but that he has retained a lawyer.

Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) answered a few media questions for the first time since news broke about a federal probe into the awarding of a $12 million storm water contract in Nassau County. Investigators are looking at whether the powerful senator exerted any influence in matters involving AbTech, an Arizona-based environmental firm, which employed Skelos' son, Adam.

The senator last week acknowledged the probe and said he was cooperating.

In an exchange Wednesday that lasted less than 30 seconds, Skelos said: "My statement is the same as what we issued (last week). The inquiry continues and we are cooperating fully."

Asked about stepping down, Skelos said "no" and shook his head. Asked about hiring a lawyer to represent him in the matter, he said "absolutely," but declined to give the attorney's name.

A day earlier, rank-and-file Republicans said Skelos had their full support.



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