The nasty business going on in the New York state capital isn’t getting any better, but the political theater resulting from it keeps on delivering the goods. Earlier, Sheldon Silver was indicted after decades of being the chief Democrat power broker on the Hudson. I had asked at the time whether or not Silver might roll up on Governor Andrew Cuomo, but to date that doesn’t seem to have happened. The feds were clearly picking up a scent of something untoward, though, and kept on digging. This week another power player was taken down when Dean Skelos – one of the top Republicans in Albany – was arrested along with his son on corruption charges. (Lest you think that it’s all the Democrats’ fault, we have old school corruption here which infects both parties.)
But still, we’re not seeing the type of wide ranging dominoes falling which many expected. Reporters in Albany have hinted that the feds were having trouble getting anyone with a really long reach to talk, but now that may have changed. One path to identifying Skelos came from a key officer in one of the biggest political funding outfits in the state. And if he’s talking, there’s no telling where this goes next. (Article from Capital New York news)
Just as important as Monday’s charges against Senate Majority leader Dean Skelos and his son was the revelation, in the newly unsealed complaint, that an executive with the state’s top campaign donor is now cooperating with the feds.
Charles Dorego, the senior vice president of Glenwood Management, allegedly gave Skelos’ son Adam a $20,000 cash payment and steered him title insurance work. Like many big real estate firms, state policy changes on rent control and the 421-a subsidy program are worth millions to Glenwood, and it kept Dean Skelos, the Senate majority leader, quite close.
What’s prompting concern at the Capitol is that Dorego, as well as Glenwood founder Leonard Litwin, are close to everyone.
“If Dorego is involved,” said one lobbyist, speaking on background, “then you can bet more trees are going to fall.”
The phrase “more trees are going to fall” is an apt one. If you hang around for any amount of time in New York politics you know about Glenwood Management, and their fundraising activities certainly didn’t stop with Skelos. In fact, he wasn’t even close to the top of their Christmas list. Who was? As you may have already guessed, the biggest recipient of their largess has been none other than Governor Andrew Cuomo. The Guv received $1.45M out of the total $3.6M that Glenwood handed out over the past four years.
If the feds have Dorego in a chatty mood, they must have something hanging over him. And if Charles is willing to talk, he may have any number of fascinating tales to spin. How many of them might be tied to that cool million and a half they gave to the Governor? There’s no Definite Article here at this point which takes us directly to the Governor’s mansion, but there’s more than enough smoke to keep wading in and see if we find some fire.
When reached for a response, the Governor’s office had no comment. Probably a smart move for the time being.