No prison for Dean and Adam Skelos while they await appeal on corruption charges

A recent Supreme Court ruling may be key to overthrowing convictions

From left: Dean Skelos, Adam Skelos, Sheldon Silver and Bob McDonnell
From left: Dean Skelos, Adam Skelos, Sheldon Silver and Bob McDonnell

UPDATE, Aug. 10, 3:20 p.m. Dean Skelos and his son won’t have to sit in prison while they appeal their convictions on corruption charges.

Skelos, a former state senate majority leader, was sentenced to five years in prison for pressuring supporters, including developer Glenwood Management [TRDataCustom], to pay his son Adam substantial sums of money or face retribution.

His son was sentenced to six-and-a-half years. Federal judge Kimba Wood ruled on Thursday that Skelos and his son could remain free on bail as they appeal their cases, the New York Times reported.

Wood found that attorneys for the convicted father and son raised “a substantial question” as to Whether A Supreme Court ruling that overturned the conviction of ex-Virginia governor Bob McDonnell might impact their cases. Specifically, the McDonnell ruling limited what constitutes an “official act” when prosecuting public officials for corruption. So, the Skelos clan’s appeal hinges on whether a jury instruction given during their trials may be deemed “erroneous” given the McDonnell ruling.

Lawyers for former state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who was sentenced to 12 years in a separate corruption case, have made a similar request in his case. Both Silver and Skelos were temporarily replaced through a special election in April. A primary is being held in September to elect permanent replacements for the disgraced politicians.

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Charles Dorego, chief lobbyist for Glenwood, testified in the trial that Dean had repeatedly “badgered” him about “helping” Adam, who secured a $10,000-a-month job at a pollution-control company and a $20,000 referral fee for real estate work he never actually performed.

Dorego told jurors that he did favors for the Skeloses out of fear that the father would take retaliate against Glenwood. [NYT]Kathryn Brenzel

Clarification: Glenwood Management did not pay Adam Skelos directly for a no-show job; Thomas Dwyer, a title insurance executive, testified that Charles Dorego requested that he pay Adam $20,000 for title work on a real estate deal. Dwyer, whose firms perform most of the title insurance work for Glenwood, testified that Dorego said he didn’t want Glenwood linked to the $20,000 payment.