Thomas W. Libous

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Thomas W. Libous
New York State Senator Thomas W. Libous.jpg
Member of the New York Senate
from the 51st, later the 52nd district
In office
January 1989 – July 22, 2015
Preceded by Warren M. Anderson
Succeeded by Frederick R. Akshar
Personal details
Born (1953-04-16)April 16, 1953
Johnson City, New York, U.S.
Died May 3, 2016(2016-05-03) (aged 63)
Endicott, New York
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Frances Libous
Children Matthew
Nicholas
Alma mater State University of New York,
Broome

State University of New York,
Utica
Website Official website

Thomas W. Libous (April 14, 1953 – May 3, 2016) was an American politician. He was the New York State Senator representing the 52nd Senate District representing Broome, Tioga, Chenango and Delaware County. On July 22, 2015, he was found guilty of lying to the FBI, and vacated his Senate seat.[1][2] He was serving his fourteenth term[3] in the New York State Senate, and was Deputy Majority Leader.[4] However, on November 24, 2015, U.S. District Judge Vincent Briccetti sentenced him to six months of house arrest, two years of probation and a $50,000 fine. Libous was not sentenced to jail time due his terminal cancer that had spread from his prostate to his lungs and bones.[5]

Libous was a member of the Republican Party. In accordance with New York's electoral fusion policy, Libous was also regularly cross-endorsed by the Conservative Party of New York and the Independence Party. He served as Chair of the Transportation Committee, Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Committee, the Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Committee and the Select Committee on the Disabled.

Early life and education[edit]

Libous grew up on Johnson City, New York's North Side and attended Johnson City Central School District. At a young age, he worked at his family's grocery store in Binghamton. Libous graduated from Broome Community College in 1973 and from the State University of New York at Utica in 1975, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and Finance with honors.

Career[edit]

Private sector[edit]

After graduation, Libous returned to Binghamton and was employed by Chase Lincoln First Bank from 1975 through 1983, eventually becoming the director of marketing. In 1983, Libous became vice president of marketing for the Johnson City Publishing Company in Binghamton. He held that position until his election to the New York State Senate.

Libous was a part-time instructor at SUNY Broome Community College, and taught courses in banking, marketing and finance.

Early political career[edit]

Libous began his political career working on various campaigns for his uncle, Binghamton mayor Alfred Libous, who served as mayor from 1969 to 1981. In 1984, he was elected to the Binghamton City Council, representing the city's south side. He was re¬elected in 1987 and served as the council's minority leader. He served as president of the New York State Association of City Councils.[citation needed]

New York State Senate[edit]

In 1988, Libous was elected to the New York State Senate, succeeding Senate Majority Leader Warren M. Anderson. From 2008-12, he proceeded through a series of leadership positions including Deputy Majority Leader, Deputy Minority Leader, and Chair of the Senate Republican Campaign Committee.[citation needed]

Libous served on a variety of committees including Alcohol & Drug Abuse, Select Committee on the Disabled, Mental Health & Development Disabilities, and Transportation. In his time as chairman of these committees, Libous had sponsored legislation which created the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, sought to curb underage drinking, created the Traumatic Brain Injury Program, tried to improve the quality of life for those with disabilities and mental health, worked to increase funding for transportation projects.[citation needed]

Libous opposed the Marriage Equality Act recognizing same-sex marriage (passed 33-29).[6] He also voted against requiring background checks for gun purchases (passed 43-18),[7] tightening labor standards for domestic employees (passed 35-26),[8] and lessening penalties for those found with hypodermic needles (passed 43-18).[9]

Community projects and programs[edit]

As Senator, he had worked on economic development deals to bring and retain thousands of jobs to the Southern Tier, helped convince the Ottawa Senators to locate its American Hockey League affiliate in Binghamton, brought the PGA Champions Tour's Dick's Sporting Goods Open golf tournament to Endicott, and kept the AA-Level Binghamton Mets Baseball Club in the Southern Tier.[citation needed]

In 1989, Libous founded YES! Safe Choices for Kids (now a partnership with Lourdes Hospital) to help kids learn about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse. Each year, YES! trains hundreds of high school students to teach the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse to elementary school students, sponsors local events and programming and offers a drug and alcohol prevention resources for families on its website.[10]

In 1998, Libous founded the Student Community Service Awards (SCSA) through a partnership with WBNG-TV and Broome-Tioga BOCES. Each year, the SCSA program awards scholarships to high school seniors based on community volunteer work. Each honoree is selected by his or her school district.[11]

In 2000, he founded BOOKS (now a partnership with Morrisville State College) to encourage kids to become better readers. BOOKS takes a unique position on reading by rewarding kids for time spent reading rather than for the number of books finished and offers a variety of resources encouraging children to read on its website.[12]

Indictment, trial, conviction, and sentencing[edit]

Libous had been scrutinized on several different occasions during his time as a New York State Senator. In 2012, he was highlighted in a corruption trial for his role in attempting to help his son, Matthew, receive a job at Santangelo, Randazzo & Mangone, a law firm in Westchester County. As a result, an investigation was started,[13] and on July 1, 2014, he was indicted on charges of lying to the FBI regarding the circumstances of his son's employment at the law firm.[14][15] Matthew Libous was charged with six counts of tax fraud in a related investigation.[16][17] The elder Libous was also scrutinized for having ties to a real estate company holding gas leases founded by his wife and run by a campaign donor.[18]

In November 2014, despite his indictment, Libous was re-elected for a fourteenth term to his state senate seat.[3] and remained Deputy Majority Leader.[4] In January 2015, Matthew Libous was convicted on three counts of federal tax fraud by judge Vincent L. Briccetti of the Southern District of New York in a bench trial,[19] and in May 2015 he was sentenced to 6 months in prison.[20]

Thomas Libous was put on trial later in 2015,.[21] His trial lasted a week, and on July 22, 2015, after only about six hours of jury deliberations, he was convicted of one count of lying to the F.B.I.[22] On November 24, 2015, Vincent L. Briccetti, the same judge who had tried his son, sentenced him to six months of house arrest, two years of probation and a $50,000 fine. He was not sentenced to jail time because of his terminal cancer that had spread from his prostate to his lungs and bones.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Libous lived in Binghamton with his wife, Fran, who serves as Vice Chair of the Workers Compensation Board. The couple has two grown sons—Matthew and Nicholas. In 2009, Libous was diagnosed with prostate cancer, which was terminal. He underwent treatment while still serving as State Senator. In 2010, he founded I Turned Pro to encourage men over age 50 to talk to their doctors about the risk for prostate cancer.[23]

Libous died from prostate cancer at a hospice in Endicott, New York, on May 3, 2016.[24][25] His uncle, former Binghamton Mayor Al Libous, also died in June 2016 at the age of 88.[26]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sen. Tom Libous found guilty". Pressconnects.com. 2015-07-23. Retrieved 2015-11-26. 
  2. ^ Thomas Kaplan,Thomas Libous, New York State Senator, Is Convicted of Lying to F.B.I., New York Times, July 23, 2015.
  3. ^ a b Norris, Anna (2014-11-05). "Libous secures 14th term as senator | WBNG-TV: News, Sports and Weather Binghamton, New York | Local". Wbng.com. Retrieved 2015-11-26. 
  4. ^ a b "Libous Will Remain Deputy Leader". Nystateofpolitics.com. 2015-05-11. Retrieved 2015-11-26. 
  5. ^ a b "Libous: 6 months house arrest, 2 years probation, $50K fine". Pressconnects.com. Retrieved 2015-11-26. 
  6. ^ "Bill A8354-2011". New York Senate. Retrieved 9 April 2014. 
  7. ^ "Bill S2230-2013". New York Senate. Retrieved 9 April 2014. 
  8. ^ "Bill S2311D-2009". New York Senate. Retrieved 9 April 2014. 
  9. ^ "Bill S5620A-2009". New York Senate. Retrieved November 25, 2015. 
  10. ^ "About Us". YES! Safe Choices For Kids. Retrieved November 25, 2015. 
  11. ^ "Student Community Service Awards". WBNG News. Retrieved November 25, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Reading Programs". Books Program. Retrieved November 25, 2015. 
  13. ^ Hakim, Danny. "Ethics Panel Opens Inquiry Into No. 2 Leader in State Senate". The New York Times. Retrieved November 25, 2015. 
  14. ^ Rashbaum, William K.; Craig, Susanne; Kaplan, Thomas. "State Senator Libous Indicted on Charges of Lying to F.B.I.". The New York Times. Retrieved November 25, 2015. 
  15. ^ "Indictment - United State of America vs. Thomas Libous" (PDF). justice.gov. United States Department of Justice. Retrieved 28 August 2016. 
  16. ^ Kaplan, Thomas; Rashbaum, William K. (July 2, 2014). "G.O.P. Power Broker in Albany Accused of Lying to F.B.I. - State Senator Thomas Libous Is Indicted on Federal Charges". New York Times. p. A1. Retrieved 28 August 2016. 
  17. ^ "Indictment - United States of America vs. Matthew Libous" (PDF). justice.gov. United States Department of Justice. Retrieved 28 August 2016. 
  18. ^ Klopott, Freeman. "N.Y. Senate Fracking Backer Tied to Firm With Gas Lease". Bloomberg. Retrieved November 25, 2015. 
  19. ^ Fitzsimmons, Emma G. (January 27, 2015). "Son of Indicted New York State Senator Is Found Guilty in Tax Case". New York Times. Retrieved 28 August 2016. 
  20. ^ Kaplan, Thomas (May 19, 2015). "Son of Indicted New York State Senator Receives 6-Month Sentence". New York Times. p. A22. Retrieved 28 August 2016. 
  21. ^ Kaplan, Thomas (July 12, 2015). "Trial to Begin for Thomas Libous, New York Senator Whose Son Was Convicted". New York Times. p. A14. Retrieved 28 August 2016. 
  22. ^ Kaplan, Thomas (July 23, 2015). "Thomas Libous, New York State Senator, Is Convicted of Lying to F.B.I.". New York Times. p. A20. Retrieved 28 August 2016. 
  23. ^ "Libous Undergoing Second Round of Chemotherapy". WICZ News. September 16, 2013. Retrieved November 25, 2015. 
  24. ^ McKinley, Jesse (2016-05-04). "Former Binghamton Mayor Al Libous dies". New York Times. Retrieved 2016-07-18. 
  25. ^ http://www.wbng.com/news/local/Former-NYS-Senator-Tom-Libous-loses-battle-with-cancer-377979911.html
  26. ^ Platsky, Jeff (2016-06-30). "Former Binghamton Mayor Al Libous dies". Press & Sun-Bulletin. Retrieved 2016-07-18. 

External links[edit]

New York State Senate
Preceded by
Warren M. Anderson
New York State Senate
51st district

1989–2003
Succeeded by
James L. Seward
Preceded by
Randy Kuhl
New York State Senate
52nd district

2003–2015
Succeeded by
Fred Akshar