New York Lawmaker [Insert Corruption Scandal Here]

Categories: Corruption

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"Every time a politician is arrested in New York it should not feel like a scene from Groundhog Day. And yet it does." - US Attorney Preet Bharara
And it's happening again. As of this morning, State Sen. John Sampson of Brooklyn has been taken into FBI custody on corruption charges, reports NBC.

The shakedown had been expected after prosecutors told reporters last week that former assemblyman Shirley L. Huntley secretly recorded seven politicians as part of a deal in her own alleged bribery case.

Monday morning's revelation arrives as a second, or maybe third act of sorts in an ongoing drama of bribery and graft in Albany. Just last month, it was revealed that Bronx assemblyman Nelson Castro had been reporting his colleagues' fishy activities as a public corruption informant since 2009. That year, Castro secretly started working for local and federal prosecutors after being embroiled in his own set of legal troubles, according to the New York Times.

Castro's cooperation resulted in bribery charges against Assemblyman Eric Stevenson, along with four others. And don't forget the sprawling, sensational sting in early April that dredged up indictments for State Sen. Malcolm Smith and Councilmember Dan Halloran.

"If you are a corrupt official in New York," US Attorney Preet Bharara told the Times, "you have to worry that one of your colleagues is working with us."

So far, recent corruption scandals in New York have been compared to "House of Cards," Season Two of "The Sopranos," "The Wire, and Groundhog Day. Someone should probably just give up and follow around Preet Bharara with a camera for a day. MTV, we're looking at you.

[@sydbrownstone][sbrownstone@villagevoice.com]


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