John L. Sampson has been convicted on a stunning array of charges that will result in him losing an influential state senate seat.
A state senator representing Brooklyn has been kicked out of office after being convicted on three federal charges — felony counts that force his removal from office.
John L. Sampson was convicted of one count of obstruction of justice and two counts of making false statements stemming from an investigation into corruption in his office, according to an Albany Times-Union report.
Sampson was acquitted on six other charges, and the judge had tossed out charges of embezzlement due to the statute of limitations expiring. Prosecutors will appeal that decision, however.
Sampson had been charged with embezzling funds that were supposed to go back into the courts in foreclosure proceedings. He then allegedly tried to cover up the stealing.
Sampson wasn’t alone in being targeted by the federal government: Republican Deputy Senate Majority Leader Tom Libous of Binghampton also faced federal charges, being convicted of lying to an FBI agent. He had been in office for more than two decades.
These state lawmakers had top leadership positions and represent a stunning series of events in the state senate.
There have been more corruption charges earlier this year. Democratic Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Republican Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos had both been kicked out of their leadership positions, although they remain in office, facing charges of their own. And Former Democratic Majority Leader Malcolm Smith of Queens, a man that Sampson had replaced as the head of the conference, was convicted on bribery charges earlier this year.
This latest conviction is causing advocacy groups to call for large-scale overhauls in ethics laws. A total of 31 state lawmakers have reportedly left office or been convicted in the past 15 years, with a third of those happening just in the last two years.