Bronx assemblyman arrested for taking bribes from developers to speed up projects
A South Bronx assemblyman was arrested Thursday on charges of taking bribes to help developers with their projects, the New York Times reported.
Assemblyman Eric Stevenson, who represents some of the city’s poorest areas of the South Bronx, was accused of taking money to help developers speed up construction on their projects, obtain building permits, and recruit older people, according to a criminal complaint filed by Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney in Manhattan.
“For the second time in three days, we unseal criminal charges against a sitting member of our State Legislature,” Bharara told the Times. “The allegations illustrate the corruption of an elected representative’s core function — a legislator selling legislation.”
Along with Stevenson, the complaint charges four businessmen — Igor Belyansky, Rostislav Belyansky, David Binman and Igor Tsimerman — with taking part in the scheme.
In April 2012, a confidential federal witness met with Stevenson and discussed how he could help the developers, who operated several adult day care centers in the city and sought to open a new one on Jerome Avenue in the Bronx.
Stevenson is also accused of drafting legislation that would prevent any new adult day care centers from opening in New York City, a law that would directly benefit the developers in question, according to the complaint.
Stevenson was promised $10,000 for his assistance, the complaint says.
Another lawmaker from the Bronx, Nelson Castro, was implicated in the bribery case, but due to his assistance with the investigation, will not face arrest and will only be forced to resign. [NYT] –Hiten Samtani