Albany lawmakers defuse tension with playful ‘frisking’

The NEw York State Capitol. Credit: Chris Hondros/Getty Images.
The New York State Capitol. Credit: Chris Hondros/Getty Images

Legislators in Albany have apparently taken to playfully “frisking” one another, according to a New York Times report.

The practice comes at a time when several lawmakers have been indicted on federal charges of corruption, and were caught due to incriminating conversations recorded on wires worn by colleagues.

“You run into them, and you feel them up and down,” said Queens Assemblyman David Weprin.

All four lawmakers involved in the recent corruption scandals hail from the five boroughs of New York City. They are also all Democrats.

Queens Sen. Malcolm Smith is charged with bribery in an attempt to run for city mayor.

Two assemblymen from the Bronx, Eric Stevenson and Nelson Castro, are also in hot water. Steveson is accused of taking bribes from developers of adult day care centers in his district. Castro resigned in a deal where he agreed, in exchange for avoiding prosecution for perjury, to wear a wire to record conversations with fellow lawmakers.

And Brooklyn Assemblyman William Boyland was recently taken in for bribery, among several other charges.

Weprin, a Democrat, noted the need to “make light of” the situation, as other Congress members similarly complained of the frustration caused by their allegedly felonious colleagues.

“These people make our lives impossible,” said state Sen. Martin Dilan, reportedly over a game of darts and some drinks with a fellow senator, 28-year-old Rafael Espinal. The two both hail from Brooklyn.

Espinal agreed: “We’re all angry. We’re angry at the fact that we have to, the good ones or most of us, deal with the backlash.”

Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat


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