Dean Skelos

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Dean Skelos
President pro tempore of the New York Senate
In office
January 1, 2011 – May 11, 2015
Preceded by Malcolm Smith
Succeeded by John J. Flanagan
In office
June 24, 2008 – December 31, 2008
Preceded by Joseph Bruno
Succeeded by Malcolm Smith
Majority Leader of the New York Senate
In office
January 1, 2011 – May 11, 2015
Preceded by John L. Sampson
Succeeded by John J. Flanagan
In office
June 8, 2009 – July 9, 2009
Preceded by Malcolm Smith
Succeeded by Pedro Espada Jr.
In office
June 24, 2008 – December 31, 2008
Preceded by Joseph Bruno
Succeeded by Malcolm Smith
Lieutenant Governor of New York
Acting
In office
June 24, 2008 – December 31, 2008
Governor David Paterson
Preceded by Joseph Bruno
Succeeded by Malcolm Smith
Member of the New York Senate
from the 9th district
In office
January 1985 – December 11, 2015
Preceded by Carol Berman
Succeeded by Vacant
Personal details
Born (1948-02-16) February 16, 1948 (age 67)
Rockville Centre, New York, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Gail Skelos
Children Adam Skelos
Alma mater Washington College
Fordham University

Dean G. Skelos (born February 16, 1948)[1] is a former American politician and the former Majority Leader of the New York State Senate. Prior to his conviction on federal corruption charges, Skelos represented District 9 in the State Senate, which comprises the southwest region of Nassau County, from 1985 through 2015.[2]

Skelos is the second Long Islander to hold the position of Majority Leader, following Ralph J. Marino. In 2015, Skelos and his son were arrested and then convicted on federal corruption charges. Skelos vacated his leadership post following the arrest, and was then convicted, resulting in his automatic expulsion from the New York State Senate. This conviction followed by less than two weeks the conviction of the former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

Early life[edit]

Skelos graduated from Washington College with a B.A. in History in 1970, and earned a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law in 1975.[citation needed]

Political career[edit]

New York State Assembly[edit]

Skelos first won elective office on November 4, 1980. Running on the Republican, Conservative, and Right-to-Life party lines, he defeated Democratic and Liberal party candidate Peter S. Kilcommons, Jr. by a 64% to 36% margin (30,749 to 17,371), to win election in the vacant 19th Assembly District representing Nassau County. The New York State Assembly seat became vacant when incumbent Assemblyman Raymond J. McGrath decided to run for an open seat in the United States House of Representatives due to the retirement of nine-term incumbent John W. Wydler.

New York State Senate[edit]

In 1982, after one term in the Assembly, Skelos gave up his seat to challenge incumbent Democratic-Liberal New York State Senator Carol Berman. The 1982 reapportionment changed the boundaries of the 9th Senate District, which previously included parts of Nassau and Queens County; the new district, drawn by Senate Republicans, was now entirely within Nassau County and favored Republicans. (The 9th Senate District today includes the city of Long Beach, the villages of Atlantic Beach, Cedarhurst, East Rockaway, Hewlett Bay Park, Hewlett Harbor, Hewlett Neck, Island Park, Lawrence, Lynbrook, Malverne, Rockville Centre, Valley Stream, and Woodsburgh, and the hamlets of Baldwin, Barnum Island, Elmont, Franklin Square, Hewlett, Inwood, North Valley Stream, Oceanside, West Hempstead, and Woodmere.)[2] Skelos was endorsed by the Republican and Conservative parties. Berman, running on the Democratic and Liberal party lines won the race by 6,108 votes (55,504 to 49,396). Matthew Doyle, the Right-to-Life party candidate, received 2,520 votes in the three-way race.[citation needed]

In 1984, Skelos challenged Berman in a rematch. This time, Skelos, who had President Ronald Reagan visit the district and campaign for him, narrowly defeated Berman in a two-way race. Skelos won 50.7% to 49.3% (67,834 to 65,875).[citation needed]

In 1986, Carol Berman challenged Skelos in their third consecutive state senate contest. Skelos, running on the Republican and Conservative party lines defeated the Democratic-Liberal candidate Berman in a three-way race, winning 53% of the vote (49,761) to 43.7% (41,005). Right-to-Life party candidate, Joan McDermott received 3.2% (2,967) of the vote.[citation needed]

Since 1989, Senator Skelos has been Co-Chairman of the Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Apportionment, a position that requires him and his colleagues to redraw the boundaries of Assembly, Senate, and congressional districts within New York State.[citation needed]

In 1993, Senator Skelos was appointed as Chairman of the Task Force on Economic Recovery and Job Development.[citation needed]

From 1995 to 2008, he was Deputy Majority Leader of the New York State Senate.[citation needed]

In 1998, he was appointed by Governor George Pataki to sit on the four-member Metropolitan Transportation Authority Capital Program Review Board.[citation needed]

Since 1998, Senator Skelos has been a member of the board of directors of the State Legislative Leaders Foundation, as well as a member of the National Conference of State Legislators and National Conference of Insurance Legislators.[citation needed]

In 2008, he became the Majority Leader of the New York State Senate, after Joseph Bruno resigned.[citation needed]

In 2011, Skelos voted against the Marriage Equality Act, which the Senate passed 33-29.[3] In a statement he said, "this is a very difficult issue and it will be a vote of conscience for every member of the Senate."[4]

In 2013, as Senate Leader, Skelos was responsible for suspending Senate rules and bringing the NY SAFE Act to the floor. He later voted for the SAFE Act and advocated its passage.;[5][6]

Also in the Senate

He also served as the Chairman of the Senate Aging Committee[when?] before stepping down from that post after ten years. While serving as chairman, Skelos was credited with authoring the Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage Program (EPIC), which assists senior citizens in defraying the cost of prescription drugs.[citation needed]

Senator Skelos was also instrumental in the passage of the Sex Offender Registration Act, also known as Megan's Law, which mandated that convicted sex offenders register with local law enforcement authorities and that local communities be apprised of the presence of all known sex offenders.[citation needed]

As Co-Chairman of the Joint Committee on Breast Cancer and Pesticides,[when?] Senator Skelos helped to draft the Health Research Science Law, which established a Pesticide Registry within New York State.[citation needed]

He is also credited with creating the Nassau Interim Finance Authority.[when?][citation needed]

Law practice[edit]

In addition to his service in the New York State Senate, he was Of Counsel to Ruskin Moscou Faltischek, P.C., from 1994 through 2015.[7][8]

Convictions[edit]

Skelos and his son, Adam, were arrested on federal corruption charges on May 4, 2015, including "conspiracy, extortion, and solicitation of bribes" according to The New York Times.[9] The charges dealt with the awarding of a $12 million contract to a company that hired his son. Investigators allegedly caught Skelos on wiretaps boasting of his power.[10] Skelos vacated his post as Senate Majority Leader on May 11, 2015, a week after being charged.[11]

Skelos and his son were both convicted on all charges on December 11, 2015, facing up to 130 years in prison. His attorney Robert Gage planned to appeal all convictions.[12][13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sen. Dean Skelos (R-NY 9th District) biography". New York Library Association. 
  2. ^ a b "District 9". nysenate.gov. 
  3. ^ "Roll call". nysenate.gov. 2011. 
  4. ^ "Same sex marriage legislation: Skelos' Statement". nysenate.gov. 
  5. ^ "Rally held in Rockville Centre to protest Sen. Dean Skelos' recent vote for the NY SAFE Act". February 16, 2013. Retrieved 20 February 2013. 
  6. ^ "Skelos On Gun Control: 'Perhaps We Did Act In Haste'". Capital Tonight. 6 February 2013. Retrieved 20 February 2013. 
  7. ^ "Senator Dean G. Skelos, Of Counsel". Ruskin Moscou Faltischek, P.C. Retrieved April 25, 2015. 
  8. ^ Saul, Josh (November 6, 2015). "Dean Skelos, son, made thousands for 'no-show jobs': feds". New York Post. 
  9. ^ Rashbaum, William K. & Craig, Susanne & Kaplan, Thomas (May 1, 2015). "Dean Skelos, New York Senate Leader, and His Son Are Said to Face Arrest Next Week". The New York Times. 
  10. ^ Neumeister, Larry & Hays, Tom (May 5, 2015). "NY Senate boss, charged in corruption case, claims innocence". Associated Press. 
  11. ^ Klepper, David (May 11, 2015). "New York Senate leader Skelos quits top post after arrest". Associated Press. Retrieved May 12, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Dean Skelos guilty in corruption case; former state Senate Majority Leader and son now face up to 130 years in prison". Daily News. December 11, 2015. 
  13. ^ "Former State Senate Leader Convicted on All Counts in Public-Corruption Trial". The Wall Street Journal. December 11, 2015. 

External links[edit]

New York Assembly
Preceded by
Raymond J. McGrath
New York State Assembly
19th district

1981–1983
Succeeded by
Armand D'Amato
New York State Senate
Preceded by
Carol Berman
New York Senate
9th district

1985–2015
Succeeded by
TBD
Political offices
Preceded by
Joseph Bruno
Temporary President of the New York State Senate
2008
Succeeded by
Malcolm Smith
Preceded by
Malcolm Smith
Temporary President of the New York State Senate
2011–2015
Succeeded by
John J. Flanagan
Preceded by
Joseph Bruno
Acting
Lieutenant Governor of New York
Acting

2008
Succeeded by
Malcolm Smith
Acting