On Wednesday, shortly after Norman Seabrook, president of New York City’s jail officers’ union, was arrested on corruption charges, Governor Andrew Cuomo gave a speech promising new regulations on independent expenditure committees (a.k.a. super PACs). This is the fourth time in five years that the governor has proposed such regulations, Politico reports, which—even in the unlikely event of them passing—would not actually do very much to ameliorate corruption in New York.
The nephew of former New York State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos was arrested this afternoon after grabbing the wrist of New York Daily News reporter Victoria Bekiempis and tossing her phone into the street. Bekiempis was covering the criminal sentencing of the elder Skelos, who was convicted of federal corruption charges along with his son in December.
On Tuesday, Donald Trump told the Associated Press that he doesn’t plan to release his tax returns before the presidential election in November. “There’s nothing to learn from them,” he said. Then, on Wednesday, he said he would release them. “I’ll release. Hopefully before the election I’ll release,” he told Fox News. “And I’d like to release.” (Doesn’t seem like it.) “You learn very little from a tax return,” he added. Maybe, but you learn a lot from someone’s ambivalence about releasing them.
Former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was sentenced on Tuesday to 12 years in federal prison. Once one of New York’s most powerful men, he was convicted in November of extortion and money laundering related to a series of schemes that netted him millions in exchange for political favors.
The ongoing federal investigation into corruption in the NYPD expanded this week, as the chief financial officer of an Orthodox volunteer security force was arrested Sunday. He is accused of bribing officers in the NYPD’s Licensing Division to exchange for handgun permits. The mayor’s office has frozen two City Council grants, totaling $35,000, allocated to the organization.
Yesterday, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said that the current federal investigation into corruption in his department is likely the worst since the Knapp Commission—the municipal probe into the department prompted by Frank Serpico way back in 1970. But really, compared to that, this latest scandal is boring as hell.
What do heads of state, FIFA execs, billionaires, celebrities, and hundreds of their rich and powerful friends have in common? Quite a few things, I’d wager, but here’s something specific: They’ve all been named in the “Panama Papers,” the trove of 11.5 million records that give insight into how the rich and powerful hide their money abroad.
In the remote town of Crystal City, Texas, the mayor, city manager, mayor pro tempore, a city councilman, and a former councilman were all arrested by federal agents last week. Last month, another councilman was arrested. Crystal City has only three people total on its city council, and the lone remaining councilman was the only official who reported for work at city hall on Friday.