BREAKING: Six Democrats in Senate caught on wire recordings

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(Note: Post has been updated throughout.)

Six Democrats in the state Senate were among the nine individuals secretly recorded by ex-Sen. Shirley Huntley, according to a court document unsealed Wednesday.

HassellThompsonSen. Ruth Hassell-Thompson, D-Mount Vernon, was among those listed in the document, along with five senators from New York City: Sens. Eric Adams, John Sampson, Velmanette Montgomery, Jose Peralta and Malcolm Smith.

Also recorded and photographed were New York City Councilman Ruben Wills, former Smith staffer Curtis Taylor and Melvin Lowe, who has been a political consultant to Senate Democrats and to Gov. Andrew Cuomo during his failed run for governor in 2002.

Huntley, a Queens Democrat facing sentencing Thursday on corruption convictions, wore a wire for the FBI and federal prosecutors as she sought a more lenient sentence.

A separate court document filed on Tuesday revealed that eight of the nine individuals recorded by Huntley are under investigation by federal prosecutors, but did not reveal the nature of the investigations nor the names of those targeted. A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office declined comment Wednesday.

Hassell-Thompson’s office referred a call for comment to the Senate Democrats’ central press office. Hassell-Thompson issued a statement late Wednesday saying she’s confident investigators have already cleared her name, saying her record is “above reproach.” You can read her full statement here.

“This is an extremely trying time in Albany,” Senate Democrats spokesman Mike Murphy said in a statement. “If any charges are brought the conference will take appropriate action.”

Last week, in their sentencing memorandum for Huntley, federal prosecutors said recordings of four of the elected officials, as well as the two non-elected individuals, did not yield any evidence of criminal activity. However, recordings of meetings Huntley held separately with Sampson three other elected officials “did yield evidence useful to law enforcement.”

Sampson and Smith have both been charged by federal prosecutors over the last five weeks.

Smith was hit with bribery charges in early April after the U.S. Attorney’s office accused him of trying to bribe his way onto the New York City mayoral ballot.

Sampson was charged Monday with embezzlement and obstruction of justice charges. Both Smith and Sampson pleaded not guilty.

You can read the newly unsealed court document here:

Huntley Memo by Jon Campbell

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3 Comments

  1. More Progressive Democ”RATS” named and I will say again only “tip” of the ScandalBerg that is The Scandal Capital of The World.

    Their is a lot more to this than meets the eye.

    What “Mind Game” is the EDNY playing ?

    Yes, they are playing a “Mind Game” and who “Else” is wired ?

    They knew the names would come out & they wanted it to.

    How many “PLEA” deals are in the works ?

    Lets not forget that the SDNY has many investigations going on too.

    Before there was the “Oracle of Delphi” there was Count Vampire J. Machiavelli

    VJ Machiavelli
    On Twitter @vjmachiavelli

  2. With this coming out, how can the public trust any of the Democrats in the senate, George Latimer included? I knew we all made a mistake electing him. Just glad he’s not in the majority & helping to run the show.

  3. Term limits & the loss of all pension rights is what NY needs to correct this.