Testimony claims NY senator cut deal for son's job

PHOTO: NYSenate.gov

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A disbarred lawyer convicted of felonies has testified that New York Senate Deputy Majority Leader Thomas Libous cut a deal for a job for his son in exchange for referrals to a politically connected law firm.

The Press & Sun-Bulletin of Binghamton reported (http://press.sn/xmCAek) Wednesday that the former lawyer said Matthew Libous was hired to a $150,000-a-year job at the firm in Westchester County.

Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos said Wednesday that he supported the elder Libous, a one-time rival to lead the Republican majority.

"Sen. Libous, when it appeared, came to me and assured me that there's no problem in terms of him and that's all I need to hear from him," Skelos said after the report surfaced.

Neither Sen. Libous nor his son is named in the federal indictment and neither is part of the criminal case on trial in Westchester County.

Sen. Libous said he won't comment on the ongoing trial.

Prosecutors said former City of Yonkers Republican Chairman Zehy Jereis and former Yonkers City Councilwoman Sandy Annabi accepted bribes in return for political favors.

The testimony about Matthew Libous came from Anthony Mangone, who is awaiting sentencing and could face up to 45 years in prison for his role in the case. Mangone pleaded guilty in late 2010 to conspiracy, bribery, extortion and tax evasion charges.

He testified that the firm balked at the deal when Matthew Libous decided to lease a Range Rover as his company car instead of a Honda.

Prosecutors said an unnamed Yonkers developer sent a $30,000 bribe through Mangone to Annabi to get her support for a housing project, according to a 2010 indictment cited by the newspaper.

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