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Rap sheet long for N.Y. politicians who have behaved badly

New York is the state where politicians behave badly.

Dozens of state elected leaders have appeared in “perp walks,” pleaded guilty to criminal charges or have been shamed out of office for poor conduct.

Of the three men in a room who ran state government in 2008, three have faced assorted allegations, starting with the john then known as Gov. Eliot Spitzer.

Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno left office in a cloud but was eventually cleared. Now Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, the survivor, has been arrested for allegedly getting $4 million over the years in a kickback and bribery scheme by using the power of his office.

Here is a list of state office-holders who have become mired in legal or ethical issues in modern times:

• Eliot Spitzer, governor, Democrat: Abruptly resigned from office in 2008 after his patronizing of prostitutes was exposed.

• David A. Paterson, governor, Democrat: Fined $62,125 in 2010 for soliciting and accepting free Yankees tickets, and then lying under oath to cover up his actions.

• Alan Hevesi, comptroller, Democrat: Pleaded guilty to using state workers to chauffeur his wife, and in 2010 pleaded guilty for his role in a corruption scandal involving the state pension fund.

• Assemblyman Micah Kellner, D-Manhattan: Did not seek re-election in 2014 because of sexual harassment scandal.

• Sen. Malcolm Smith, D-Queens: Indicted on bribery charges as he tried to seek a ballot line for New York City mayor. The matter is pending. He lost his re-election bid in 2014.

• Sen. Tom Libous, R-Binghamton: Indicted on false statement charge in federal investigation. The matter is pending. He won his re-election bid last year.

• Assemblyman William Boyland, D-Brooklyn: Forced from office in 2014 for convictions of bribery, mail fraud, extortion.

• Assemblywoman Gabriela Rosa, D-Manhattan: Pleaded guilty to fraud in 2014. Entered into a sham marriage for immigration purposes; pleaded guilty to making false statements to federal immigration officials and in a bankruptcy proceeding.

• Assemblyman Eric Stevenson, D-Bronx: Forced from office in 2014 when convicted of bribery.

• Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak, D-Cheektowaga: Resigned in 2014 amid allegations of sexual harassment.

• Assemblyman Vito Lopez, D-Brooklyn: Resigned in 2013 amid allegations of sexual harassment and ethical misconduct.

• Assemblyman Nelson Castro, D-Bronx: Resigned in 2013 due to ethical misconduct.

• Sen. Shirley Huntley, D-Queens: Lost primary in 2012 while facing conspiracy indictment.

• Sen. Carl Kruger, D-Brooklyn: Forced form office in 2012; pleaded guilty to taking bribes.

• Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera, D-Bronx: Lost primary in 2012 amid allegation of providing boyfriend with no-show jobs.

• Sen. Nicholas Spano, R-Westchester: After leaving office and beginning a lobbying career pleaded guilty to obstructing the Internal Revenue Service by filing fraudulent tax returns.

• Sen. Hiram Monserrate, D-Queens: Expelled by Senate in 2010 because of misdemeanor assault charges.

• Sen. Pedro Espada, D-Bronx: Resigned in 2010 due to ethical misconduct; pleaded to tax evasion.

• Sen. Vincent Leibell, R-Putnam County: Resigned due to ethical misconduct in 2010; pleaded to corruption charges.

• Assemblyman Tony Seminerio, D-Queens: Forced from office in 2009; accepted consulting fees in exchange for access.

• Sen. Efrain Gonzalez, D-Bronx: Lost election amid ethical issues in 2008; later pleaded to mail fraud.

• Sen. Joseph Bruno, R-Brunswick: Retired amid ethical issues but was found not guilty of corruption charges after two federal trials.

• Assemblywoman Diane Gordon, D-Brooklyn: Forced from office in 2008; found guilty of taking bribes.

• Assemblyman Michael Cole, R-Alden: Lost 2008 primary amid ethical issues; was censured by Assembly after spending the night in an intern’s apartment.

• Sen. Ada Smith, D-Queens: Lost 2006 primary amid ethical misconduct scandal; found guilty of harassment.

• Assemblyman Brian McLaughlin, D-Queens: Forced from office in 2006; pleaded guilty to racketeering.

• Assemblyman Ryan S. Karben, D-Rockland County: Resigned in 2006 because of ethical issues, improper fraternization with interns.

• Assemblyman Clarence Norman Jr., D-Brooklyn: Resigned in 2005 when found guilty of soliciting illegal campaign contributions, stealing campaign funds and falsifying business records.

• Sen. Guy Velella, R-Bronx: Forced from office in 2004 after pleading guilty to bribery. He died in 2011.

• Assemblyman Roger Green, D-Brooklyn: Resigned due to ethical misconduct in 2004, pleaded to petty larceny and filing a false instrument; ran for re-election and won.

• Assemblywoman Gloria Davis, D-Bronx: Forced from office in 2003, pleaded guilty to taking bribes.


Sources: Citizens Union of the City of New York; The New York Times