Libous: Supporting Skelos the ‘right thing to do’


The second-ranking Senate Republican is standing behind Majority Leader Dean Skelos as support for the Nassau County Republican continues to erode.


Senate Deputy Majority Leader Thomas Libous, R-Binghamton, explained in a phone interview Friday why he signed onto a joint statement earlier this week supporting Skelos, who was charged by federal prosecutors Monday for his part in an alleged scheme to use his official job to enrich his son.

Libous said he is remaining “loyal” to the majority leader, who kept Libous in the No. 2 role when the Binghamton Republican was charged last year with lying to the FBI. Libous’ trial is slated to begin in July.

“I like to keep reminding people: In America, you’re supposed to be innocent until proven guilty,” Libous said. “Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. He stood behind me when I had my problem, and I’m standing behind him. It’s the right thing to do.”

Libous, 62, is in Florida recovering from a post-back-surgery infection that is expected to keep him from returning to New York for the coming weeks. He has been battling cancer that he’s said is “terminal.”

His absence complicates efforts by some to try and force Skelos out, considering Libous is one of 33 senators who sit with the GOP. With 32 votes needed to install a new majority leader, that means Skelos would likely have to agree to cast his vote for someone other than himself.

Late Wednesday, the Senate Republicans’ press office issued a joint statement signed by 16 senators who caucus with the Republicans — not including Skelos — who “strongly” supported Skelos continuing as leader. That means 16 Senate Republicans didn’t sign on to the statement, including at least seven who have called on him to step down.

Libous said he is “being supportive.”

“I’m a loyal person,” he said. “(Skelos) was behind me 100 percent when I had my trouble, and I think he deserves the right to have an opportunity here.”


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  1. Tom still as his problem. If he lives long enough e will be behind bars. And lets clarifiy, as a US citizen Dean Skelos deserves the presumption of innocence. As a leader of he Senate he serves based upon the support of the members. They can change their mind on who they want as leader–at an time–for any reason. Dean and his son are responsible for his removal from office based upon what appears in the complaint. Any LI Senator who continues to stand behind Deano is going to have to tell folks next October how they could support a sick person who laughs ad thinks it is funny when his constituents homes are being flooded–people do not care that your son is likely to get a bigger deal out of their misfortune. You are pathetic Deano–and any LI pol who stands with you needs to be thrown out next cycle!

  2. Brian Murphy on

    Let‘s see Jon, what was it you said…? “I like to keep reminding people: In America, you’re supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore.”

    Well, it certainly wasn’t the case 4 months ago when your party was demanding that Sheldon Silver resign:

    “Sheldon Silver must immediately resign from the state Assembly. While this is another sad day for New York, we cannot be distracted from the important business of growing our economy and creating jobs.”

    – David Laska, communications director, NY State Republican Party

    But that’s OK Jon. No one expects anything from Republicans other than hypocrisy and hot air….oh, and sanctimony…and a double standard… and short memories. After all, the GOP spends so much time paying lip service to integrity that you don’t have time to practice it.

    By the way, good luck at YOUR trial in July. The one where you’re charged with lying to the FBI. We’ll presume that you’re innocent….right up to the point when the cell door slams shut behind you.

  3. Still not comment from my local Senator Terrence Murphy besides on his social media page posting “I pray for our State, for guidance, and for the wisdom and strength to serve my constituents well. What do you pray for?” I pray for ethics reform, but our local Senator seems to not see the wisdom or common sense that this is an issue.

    But, what do you expect he voted against ethics reform –

  4. Shrub, there wasn’t much reform in that ethics law. Why don’t we take away their lofty pensions? Why don’t the Democrats want to do that?