Bronx assemblyman Eric Stevenson charged with corruption

Eric Stevenson
Eric Stevenson (New York State Assembly)

New York State Assemblyman Eric Stevenson and four others were charged with corruption by U.S. prosecutors on Thursday, in the second federal graft case brought against New York politicians this week.

Federal prosecutors have accused Stevenson of taking more than $22,000 in bribes in exchange for official acts, which included drafting and sponsoring legislation to assist four businessmen in opening a network of adult daycare centers in the Bronx and avoid competition.

A Democrat from a prominent Bronx political family who was elected in 2010, Stevenson also sought to have one of the daycare centers named for his grandfather, according to prosecutors.

Stevenson’s district office offered no comment.

“For the second time in three days, we unseal criminal charges against a sitting member of our state legislature,” U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara told a news conference.

“The allegations illustrate the corruption of an elected representative’s core function – a legislator selling legislation,” Bharara said. “And based on these allegations, it becomes more and more difficult to avoid the sad conclusion that political corruption in New York is indeed rampant and that a show-me-the-money culture in Albany is alive and well.”

Since 1999, 20 state legislators in New York have been ousted because of criminal or ethical issues, according to the good government group Citizens Union. The New York Public Interest Research Group found that, since 2007, state senators have been more likely to be arrested than to lose their seats in a general election.

Allegations that elected officials were all too eager to hand the legislative process over to individuals offering a modest financial awards have shaken the New York political establishment, and led to urgent calls for reform.

In a separate case on Tuesday, Democratic New York State Senator Malcolm A. Smith was arrested and charged with trying to buy a place on the Republican ticket in the city’s mayoral race, in what prosecutors said was his central role in a series of bribery schemes that reflected pervasive corruption in New York politics.

Five other politicians – three Republicans and two Democrats – were also arrested and charged with collectively accepting more than $100,000 of bribes in meetings that often took place in parked cars, hotel rooms and state offices, according to court papers.

In Thursday’s case, two of the other defendants were charged in connection with paying a bribe to another assemblyman, who was cooperating with federal prosecutors at the time. Bharara said the assemblyman, whom he did not identify by name, has agreed to resign from office as part of a non-prosecution agreement.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Rapper affiliate of Wu-Tang Clan 'cuts off own…

Rapper Andre Johnson, who has performed with New York outfit the Wu-Tang Clan, is in a critical condition after reportedly cutting off his own penis…

National

Cleavage complaint: Disneyland staffer orders curvy mom to…

A curvy mom-of-three says she filed a formal complaint after staff at Disneyland Resort in California ordered her to cover up her boobs. Melissa Behnken,…

Local

Supporters say man accused of robbery was misidentified

A Liberian immigrant couple charged with extorting money from an elderly woman in March will be in court Thursday for a bail hearing, but supporters say it's a case of…

International

Canadian charged in 'Heartbleed' attack on tax agency

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian police have arrested a 19-year-old man and charged him in connection with exploiting the "Heartbleed" bug to steal taxpayer data from…

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 8

Sure, it's called Survivor. But this season should really be called 'The Tony Show.'

Television

Jim Rash talks 'The Writer's Room' and amazing…

For Jim Rash, as the fifth season of "Community" comes to a close, the second season of "The Writer's Room" begins.

Television

'Dexter' star Jennifer Carpenter moves into producing role

The actress who played the title character's sister in "Dexter" is teaming up with producer George Stelzner to adapt Erika Hayasaki's book "The Death Class:…

The Word

Wahlburgers announce North America domination

Tuesday was a huge day for Donnie Wahlberg.

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

NHL

Flyers, Rangers meet in playoffs for 11th time

The Flyers and Rangers will start a new chapter in a historic rivalry.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's are baseball's best, Brewers…

MLB Power Rankings: A's are baseball's best, Brewers and Braves right behind

NHL

Top 5 Philadelphia storylines for Flyers-Rangers

The slate is clean for the Flyers and the Rangers. Which is good news for the Flyers.

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: chocolate may prevent obesity…

Can chocolate prevent obesity and diabetes? Location of study: U.S. Study subjects: Mice Results: The positive health benefits of chocolate have been studied increasingly more…

Wellbeing

This Week in Health News: breastfed infants trying…

Are breastfed infants trying to prevent mom from having another baby? Theory: The act of breastfeeding not only brings mom and baby closer together –…

Wellbeing

Unexplained infertility may be caused by lack of…

Researchers have identified a protein on the egg's surface that interacts with another protein on the surface of sperm, allowing the two cells to join.

Tech

5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.