Thomas Libous, the deputy majority leader in the New York Senate,
was under investigation for allegedly telling an unnamed law firm
that it would have to "build a new wing" to handle all the extra
business he would bring the firm in exchange for hiring his son
Matthew Libous, said the indictment secured by the U.S. Attorney's
Office for the Southern District of New York.
Libous was indicted on a charge of giving a false statement to the
FBI and his arraignment was set for later on Tuesday.
A separate indictment was unsealed for Matthew Libous, claiming he
failed to report some $280,000 worth of income on his taxes between
2007 and 2011. He was arraigned Tuesday on a single count of
obstructing the Internal Revenue Service and five counts of filing
false tax returns, the prosecutor's office said in a statement.
Agents began assisting a federal grand jury investigation of Thomas
Libous in March 2010, the indictment said. Part of the investigation
involved reviewing whether Libous had a lobbying firm pay the law
office $50,000 annually to supplement his son's salary, according to
In June, FBI special agents interviewed Libous as part of the
investigation and he said he had no knowledge of how his son got his
job and he never promised to refer business to the firm, the
"Rather than serve the public he took an oath to serve, Senator
Libous used his political position to garner favorable treatment for
himself and his son," assistant FBI Director George Venizelos said
in a statement.
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Libous, who has prostate cancer, did not immediately respond to a
request for comment on Tuesday. He was first elected to the Senate
in 1988 and represents the upstate counties of Broome, Tioga,
Chenango and Delaware.
Libous is the latest in a long line of state lawmakers to face
recent criminal or ethics charges. Last week, freshman New York
Assemblywoman Gabriela Rosa, who was born in Santo Domingo,
Dominican Republic, gave up her seat and pleaded guilty to entering
into a sham marriage to gain U.S. citizenship.
(Additional reporting by Daniel Wiessner)
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