Good Morning
Good Morning
NewsNew York

Skelos jury goes home for the weekend after hours of deliberations

Dean Skelos leaves federal court in Manhattan during

Dean Skelos leaves federal court in Manhattan during his retrial Wednesday. Credit: Charles Eckert

The jury in the federal corruption retrial of former State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and his son started deliberations on Friday morning but went home for the weekend without reaching a verdict.

Before they adjourned at 2:30 p.m., jurors sent U.S. Judge Kimba M. Wood a note asking for hundreds of pages of evidence.

They requested transcripts of testimony by three star prosecution witnesses and Dean Skelos, unspecified emails, and a transcript of a wiretapped telephone conversation between Skelos and then-Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano about a county contractor that employed son Adam Skelos.

The jury is expected to resume deliberations on Monday.

Earlier Friday, the judge in federal court in Manhattan completed reading aloud her 88 pages of legal instructions to the jury by 10:30 a.m. She focused in part on how to determine whether Dean Skelos illegally used his “official position” as a state senator to benefit his son.

The retrial began June 18 and featured 14 days of testimony.

The retrial was ordered after the Skeloses’ 2015 conviction was overturned because a later U.S. Supreme Court decision redefined one of the crimes for which the pair were found guilty.

The high court more narrowly defined the kind of quid-pro-quo bribery scheme a public official must engage in to be convicted of bribery. The court said a public official must do more than make a telephone call or arrange a meeting.

The Skeloses are accused of using Dean Skelos’ position as one of state government’s three most powerful individuals to win employment and cash for Adam Skelos, valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars over about five years. In return, Dean promised to vote for legislation needed by those aiding his son, according to the indictment.

Dean Skelos, 70, and Adam Skelos, 36, both have denied wrongdoing and pleaded not guilty.

Among the material that jurors want to review is the testimony of Charles Dorego, the top lawyer at real estate developer Glenwood Management in New Hyde Park.

During three days on the stand, Dorego said he directed a Glenwood-linked title insurance company to pay Adam Skelos $20,000 for doing no work in order “to get Dean off my back,” Dorego said, referring to Dean Skelos’ repeated requests for Glenwood to help Adam, who was allegedly in dire financial straits.

Dorego also testified that he arranged for AbTech Industries Inc. to hire Adam as a consultant for $4,000 per month initially and then $10,000 per month. The Arizona manufacturer of storm-water treatment products is partially owned by Glenwood Management executives and eventually won a $12 million contract from Nassau County.

In addition, the jury has asked to see the testimony of Bjornulf White, Adam Skelos’ boss at AbTech, and the transcript of a 2015 call about the company’s Nassau contract between Dean Skelos and Nassau executive Edward Mangano, a fellow Republican.

In the January 2015 call, Dean Skelos tells Mangano that Adam Skelos “feels like they’re getting jerked around for the last two years” on a contract that Nassau had been slow to pay on.

Jurors also want to read the testimony of Anthony Bonomo, CEO of Physicians’ Reciprocal Insurers, the medical malpractice insurance company that gave Adam Skelos a $78,000-per-year low-show job in return for Dean Skelos’ support of legislation that was essential to PRI’s survival.

More news