Assemblyman Eric Stevenson, D-Bronx, seemed to know plenty about previous scandals that brought down other Albany politicians. But it allegedly didn’t stop him from engaging his own bribery scheme.
According to the complaint filed today by federal prosecutors, Stevenson took about $20,000 in exchange for helping developers seek an adult day-care that the businessmen were hoping to build in the Bronx.
As part of the scam, Stevenson was pushing a one-house bill in the Assembly that would have put a three-year moratorium on new adult day care centers in the city, which ostensibly would have helped Stevenson’s alleged cohorts.
The bill probably had no chance of passing both houses of the Legislature and getting signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, but Stevenson told an informant, “I’m telling you, it’s done. It’s no problem.”
And he talked on wiretaps about the prison time that other lawmakers faced for Albany misdeeds, including former Comptroller Alan Hevesi who served nearly 20 months in prison and was released late last year in a pay-to-play scandal.
“Bottom line … if half of the people up here in Albany was ever caught for what they do … they … would probably be in the same place” as Hevesi, the complaint says.
Stevenson, among the other lawmakers he mentioned, said “Look at this guy,” in reference to indicted former Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, R-Brunswick, Rensselaer County. He “got off on appeal and never went back.”
Another assemblyman is set to resign as early as today in the case after he agreed to work with prosecutors after also allegedly accepting about $12,000 in bribes. The New York Times and other media reports have identified him as Assemblyman Nelson Castro, D-Bronx.