Thursday, April 4, 2013

Feds charge Bronx Assemblyman Stevenson, 4 others in new bribe scheme

  • Last Updated: 11:02 AM, April 4, 2013
  • Posted: 10:25 AM, April 4, 2013
Assemblyman Eric Stevenson
Assemblyman Eric Stevenson
A Democratic assemblyman from the Bronx was busted this morning for allegedly pocketing envelopes of cash to push legislation in Albany — marking the second corruption case against a state legislator this week.
Assemblyman Eric Stevenson got caught in a sting operation in which two co-defendants paid bribes to another, unidentified assemblyman who was cooperating with authorities, according to the Manhattan US Attorney's Office.
Court papers say that lawmaker has been charged in a sealed indictment in Bronx criminal court, and has been cooperating for more than a year as part of a deal in which he will resign his seat in disgrace to avoid prosecution.
Sources have identified the other lawmaker as Nelson Castro, D-Bronx.
"Stevenson solicited, agreed to accept, and accepted cash payments totaling more than approximately $20,000," according to the federal criminal complaint.
Stevenson's four co-defendants run adult daycare centers in the Bronx and Westchester County and they paid off the Bronx Democrat for various favors, feds said.
The four got Stevenson's help to reach ConEd and "expedite the installation of a gas line" at a center on Jerome Avenue, officials said. Stevenson also reached out the the city's Buildings Department to gain a certificate of occupancy for his pals, according to prosecutors.
The alleged scheme also called for Stevenson's help to block building plans in neighborhoods around his co-defendants' centers — thus rubbing out the competition.
Prosecutors said that co-defendants paid for "Stevenson's assistance drafting, proposing and enacting legislation that would establish a temporary moratorium on the construction and/or opening of new adult daycare centers which would have the effect of eliminating competition with the Jerome Avenue Center and the Westchester County Center, thereby substantially increasing the profits earned by these two centers."
Stevenson is expected to appear in Manhattan federal court later today on charges including bribery and conspiracy.
Stevenson, Igor Belyansky, Rostislav “Slava” Belyansky, Igor Tsimerman and David Binman were identified in a five-count criminal complaint filed by Manhattan federal prosecutors.
The Stevenson bust comes on the heels of another massive political corruption case that came down on Tuesday against state Sen. Malcolm Smith [D-Queens]. The lawmaker and several GOP operatives were busted for an alleged scheme to buy Smith’s way on to the mayoral ballot as a Republican.
Stevenson was first elected to represent the 79th Assembly District in 2010 and was re-elected this past November

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