Adam Skelos had no idea federal investigators were eavesdropping on his cellphone back on Feb. 11.
But the conversation they heard may have tipped them off to a link between Adam, the son of former Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos, and AbTech -- the environmental company that employed the younger Skelos.
A transcript of Tuesday's testimony in the Dean Skelos corruption trial, supplied by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Manhattan at the request of The Buffalo News, appears to indicate that Adam Skelos told an AbTech colleague that he believed a Western New York meeting on the calendar of former Sen. Geroge D. Maziarz, R-Newfane -- which was subpoenaed by the feds -- tipped them off to Adam Skelos' link to AbTech.
According to Tuesday's New York Times, prosecutors allege that Sen. Skelos and his son monetized the lawmaker’s official position, using his power and influence to direct a real estate developer to funnel a $20,000 payment to Adam Skelos and get him the consulting work at AbTech, as well as a no-show job at a medical malpractice insurer.
Maziarz in 2014 decided not to seek re-election after it was revealed Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara had subpoenaed his campaign records and some of his staff had been questioned. But nothing ever resulted from the Maziarz aspect of Bharara's probe, and earlier this year, he was confirmed to a state energy post following a State Police background check.
Below is a transcript of the February conversation between Adam Skelos and Bjornulf White of AbTech:
SKELOS: So anyway, somewhere along the line the reporter was -- dug up something about George Maziarz in Buffalo, and we hadn't -- we had gone out there for AbTech but nothing had ever come of it, you know. It was just -- and he -- I don't know, he was -- he didn't even sit in the meeting really. He left.
WHITE: Who's George Maziarz?
SKELOS: He was a senator in the Buffalo region.
SKELOS: He recently left, and it turns out I think he was doing something illegal with, like, campaign funds. I don't know. Nothing to do with us, but we just set up a meeting because we heard in that area there was, like, water contamination issues. Nothing had ever come of it, because, just like a lot of municipalities, they were strapped for funding and, you know, they couldn't pay for the services that they needed, and that was it for that time period.
But from what I understand, you know, because this guy was, you know, not on the straight and narrow, you know, they subpoenaed all his records, and somewhere in his records it shows that I might have been there with you, you know, representing AbTech.
Now I don't think there's anything to worry about because nothing ever came of it, but the day I met Glenn, Glenn had said that the New York Times had been on our website like 12 times that day -- or that week. He thought and maybe because of, you know, them wanting to do a story about water purification, I just have a feeling it might be this reporter snooping around, trying to build a story. Now, I mean we’ve done nothing wrong, everything has been RFP’d and done by the book. But I, you know, the reason why I’m not going to jump on phone calls anymore or like attend, um, you know, attend any sort of state meeting is because I have to just be on the side of caution, you know?