Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe on Wednesday further cleared state Sen. David Carlucci of any wrongdoing in a far-reaching bribery scandal that swept up his Senate colleague.
In a statement issued by his office, Zugibe confirmed Carlucci was approached by an undercover FBI agent as Sen. Malcolm Smith attempted to secure state funds for a phony real estate project. But Carlucci, a Rockland County Democrat, acted “in a manner one would expect from an elected official carrying out his or her sworn duties.”
“During the course of this investigation, Senator Carlucci was clearly acting in the best interest of the public and the people he serves,” Zugibe said in the statement.
So how did Carlucci get swept up in all of this? Smith had been trying to secure the state funds for a Spring Valley, Rockland County, real estate project as the supposed developers — the undercover FBI agent and an informant — acted as middlemen in Smith’s plot to bribe his way onto the New York City mayoral ballot. In an Albany meeting earlier last month, Smith suggested speaking with a colleague — named as the “Spring Valley senator” in the complaint — about getting the money.
Both Smith and Carlucci, who represents Spring Valley, are members of the Independent Democratic Conference.
Zugibe’s full statement is after the jump.
“As made eminently clear by United States Attorney Preet Bharara and confirmed by my office, Senator Carlucci was not involved in any wrongdoing whatsoever. Unfortunately, as a result of a reference in the Federal corruption indictment of six public officials and public figures, questions have been raised about the potential involvement of Senator Carlucci. When approached by the undercover FBI agent, Senator Carlucci acted appropriately, and in a manner one would expect from an elected official carrying out his or her sworn duties. During the course of this investigation, Senator Carlucci was clearly acting in the best interest of the public and the people he serves.”