MANHATTAN FEDERAL COURT — Another one of New York's once-powerful politicians is headed to prison on corruption charges.
Former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, 68, was sentenced to five years in prison Thursday following his conviction in Manhattan Federal Court on a slate of corruption charges related to a kickback scheme.
His son Adam Skelos, 33, convicted on the same charges, was given an even stiffer sentence though he is not a politician — six-and-a-half years in prison. Manhattan federal judge Kimba Wood emphasized his "bullying" of his father.
"As an adult you appeared to have no moral compass," Wood said, according to news reports. "I think you did everything you could to monetize your father's position."
Wood also ordered Adam Skelos, a father of two, to serve in an inpatient mental health program in prison and suggested he enroll in drug and alcohol treatment programs.
Dean Skelos was also fined $500,000, the amount prosecutors had asked for, and will be ordered to forfeit more than $334,000 — that amount will be paid jointly with his son, according to the New York Times.
The sentencing comes about a week after ex-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was ordered to serve 12 years in prison after he was found guilty by a federal jury on corruption charges related to two kickback schemes that earned him some $4 million over several years.
Skelos and Silver were part of the powerful "three men in the room" — along with Gov. Andrew Cuomo — said to have ultimately been responsible for all the decisions in Albany, until U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara brought charges against them as part of his anti-corruption push.
In December, Skelos and his son Adam were convicted on all eight counts of bribery, extortion and conspiracy charges they faced for a years-long kickback scheme in which they took money from an environmental company while hiding it from authorities, in exchange for legislative favors from Dean Skelos.
Skelos, a Republican who has represented Long Island since 1984, said he was "completely remorseful" at his hearing.
"I let things go off the rails, and for that I apologize to Adam," Skelos said, according to news reports. "I love Adam and pray that we have better days together."
Adam Skelos also spoke, holding back tears, saying how much he loved his dad, and asked for leniency for his father.
The scheme has been ongoing since late 2010 and continued even after Silver's indictment, prosecutors said. Both men changed their modes of communication but they were being wiretapped.
They discussed using Apple's FaceTime video conferencing, believing that it couldn't be tracked electronically.
During one intercepted call on March 28, Adam Skelos told his father that "you can't talk normally because its like f-----g Preet Bharara is listening to every f-----g phone call. It's just f-----g frustrating," he said.
Dean Skelos replied: "It is."
Prosecutors had asked for 12 to 15 years of jail time for Dean Skelos.
"The nearly simultaneous convictions of Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos, whose corruption crimes were laid bare during fair and public trials, have no precedent," Bharara said in a statement about the sentencing. "And while Silver and Skelos deserve their prison sentences, the people of New York deserve better.
"These cases show — and history teaches — that the most effective corruption investigations are those that are truly independent and not in danger of either interference or premature shutdown," he continued. "That will continue to be our guiding principle in exposing and punishing corruption throughout New York."