On Thursday, March 1, former New York State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and his son, Adam, said that their claim that secret grand-jury information about them was leaked by the FBI is supported by the recent leaks by the feds of information pertaining to the prosecution of a Las Vegas gambler.
Then On Friday, March 2,
Disgraced former state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and his son have asked to relocate their retrial to another state, claiming potential New York jurors have been tainted by unfair media coverage.
Lawyers for the father-son duo requested that the trial — slated to begin June 11 — be moved to Pennsylvania or even farther to a court district that includes Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee, according to the Manhattan federal court filing.
“The Skeloses’ guilt is generally presumed in New York and the surrounding region,” as a result of press coverage of the case — including by The Post — the court
“Given the three-year media drumbeat calling for the Skeloses’ conviction and swift imprisonment, a drumbeat fueled by government misconduct, it is extremely doubtful that a New York jury will be able to perform this task with an open mind,” the court documents charge.
A “litany of newspaper articles” were cited by Skelos’ defense attorneys, which revealed “virtually every aspect of the grand jury proceedings” against the father-son duo, including the likelihood of their indictment on corruption charges as well as the identity of witnesses and more.
On appeal a new trial was granted to Dean and Adam Skelos by the Manhattan federal court filing, which conceded that Judge Kimba Wood denied the pair a hearing on those claims prior to their 2015 convictions.
However, court papers state that the recent admissions by the government that the FBI’s New York Office “systematically” leaked information about gambler Billy Walters required Judge Wood “to determine the full extent of the government’s misconduct and to fashion an appropriate remedy.”
According to The Post, “Walters was sentenced last year to five years in prison following his jury conviction for scamming $32 million through an inside-trading scheme that included a tip to pro golfer Phil Mickelson, who wasn’t charged.”
June 18, 2018 is the scheduled date for the retrial of Dean and Adam Skelos on the charges of bribery, conspiracy and extortion.
The Manhattan US Attorney’s Office declined to comment.
By Hannah Hayes