NEW YORK (AP) — New York’s former Senate leader and his son, who were convicted alongside one another on charges that the once-powerful Republican used his office to extort about $300,000 in salary and other benefits for the son, asked a federal judge Wednesday not to send them to prison.
Former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and his son Adam were convicted in U.S. District Court in Manhattan in December. Defense lawyers asked in court filings that the father and son be spared a prison term and instead be sentenced to probation. The two are scheduled for sentencing next month.
A spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan declined to comment Wednesday night.
Dean Skelos’ attorney, Robert Gage, wrote in court papers that the 67-year-old had a long history of public service and can’t commit the same offense again because he was ousted from his seat when he was convicted. He is asking for his client to be sentenced to probation and more than 4,000 hours of community service.
“It is readily apparent that the offenses for which Mr. Skelos stands for sentencing are a complete aberration from an otherwise exemplary life,” Gage wrote.
The government accused the elder Skelos of strong-arming three companies with a stake in state legislation — a major real estate developer, an environmental technology company and a medical malpractice insurer — into giving work to his son. The government said the businesses provided the younger Skelos with about $300,000 and other benefits.
Throughout the trial, Adam Skelos, who prosecutors portrayed as an underachieving only child whose sense of entitlement knew no bounds, had maintained he was innocent.
But his lawyers wrote in Wednesday’s court filing that he “understands that his actions have caused significant damage to the public’s confidence in its elected representatives and that he must be punished.”
They asked the judge to “have mercy” on the younger Skelos, saying his wife recently left him, due partly to strains caused by the criminal case.
“Adam lost everything and has brought shame to his family,” his lawyers wrote. “His marriage has fallen apart and other family relationships have been strained to the breaking point. He has been publicly humiliated and has had his worst traits broadcast on an almost daily basis. Worst of all, he struggles daily with the knowledge that his behavior led to the downfall of a man he admires more than anyone in this world.”
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