THE BRONX — Bronx Assemblyman Eric Stevenson was found guilty on federal corruption charges Monday, after being caught in an undercover bribery investigation sting last spring.
US Attorney Preet Bharara hailed the jury’s unanimous decision, saying in a statement that Stevenson “brazenly betrayed the public that elected him.”
“Graft and greed are intolerable in Albany, and we will go to trial as often as we have to until government in New York is cleaned up,” Bharara said in a statement.
Stevenson was arrested for accepting over $22,000 in bribes from a group of crooked businessmen looking for help opening a number of adult daycare centers in Stevenson’s district. The Assemblyman agreed to work to pass legislation that would have barred other daycare facilities from opening nearby.
Stevenson was brought down as part of a sting set up by the US Attorney’s office to catch corrupt lawmaker with the help of former Assemblyman Nelson Castro, who was also caught on corruption charges and agreed with act as an informant in order to avoid jail time. Castro resigned from the Assembly in April of last year.
Stevenson’s trial is the latest in a series of political corruption scandals involving New York politicians in recent years.
Last April, Queens City Councilman Dan Halloran and Queens State Senator Malcolm Smith were arrested on charges they accepted money to coordinate bribes of GOP officials in Queens to get Smith on the ballot for mayor.
Another Queens State Senator, Shirley Huntley, pled guilty last year to embezzling money from a nonprofit she funded with state tax dollars.