Convicted former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) still has nearly $1 million left in his campaign account after spending more than $650,000 in the past six months on lawyers in his corruption trial, state records showed Friday.
Convicted former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) hasn’t yet filed his July campaign finance report, which is due by midnight Friday. In January, his campaign showed he still had $246,608 after spending more than $1.4 million on lawyers in the last half of 2015.
Skelos had $924,124 left in his campaign account on Friday.
Legal fees can be paid with campaign funds under New York’s election law. Good-government groups have long criticized the wide latitude the law provides for politicians in using campaign funds, which can be expended even after officials leave office.
Silver and Skelos were convicted late last year. In June, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the corruption conviction of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell in a ruling that could result in new trials for Silver and Skelos.
Silver was convicted of doing favors in return for legal fees. Skelos was convicted of helping businesses that helped his son.
Silver and Skelos have been allowed to stay out of prison on bail while they appeal. Each was sentenced in May. In separate federal court trials in Manhattan last year, each man’s alleged “official acts” included a mixture of actual exercises of governmental power — like casting votes and providing funding — and more subtle behavior, like arranging meetings, providing job references and making phone calls.
Skelos gets an annual state pension of $95,831, and Silver’s pension is at least $79,224 a year.