They say bad things happen in threes, but New York state assembly members tied to corruption is starting to become a trend. In the most recent arrest, state Sen. John Sampson was indicted Monday on two counts embezzlement, five counts of obstruction of justice and two counts of making false statements to the FBI. He allegedly embezzled $440,000 between 1998 and 2008, the Associated Press reports.
“Today we have unsealed a nine-count indictment that outlines a pattern of self-dealing and corruption that spans decades and covers several events,” U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch said.
Sampson was implicated in part by former state senator Shirley Huntley, who secretly recorded him and other legislators in an effort to alleviate some of her own legal troubles. She will be sentenced this week for embezzling nearly $88,000 from a state-funded nonprofit. In recent weeks, Bronx assemblyman Eric Stevenson and state senator Malcolm Smith faced corruption charges. All four are African-American.
"Today, John Sampson has been added to the list of recently indicted New York elected officials," said FBI Assistant Director George Venizelos. "We could view this as an achievement for the FBI and federal prosecutors. But we share what may well be the concern of many New Yorkers that 'incumbent' and 'defendant' cannot be accepted as interchangeable."
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(Photo: AP Photo/Mike Groll)
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