Good morning on this toasty Monday.
The weather’s heating up, and so are our courts.
Two major corruption trials are set to begin this week in New York, both featuring defendants who have worked closely with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.
“It’s been the season for public corruption trials in the Manhattan federal court,” said the New York Times reporter Benjamin Weiser. He noted that these will be the third and fourth major corruption trials in just six months in the same court.
In March, one of the governor’s former top aides, Joseph Percoco, was found guilty in a corruption trial. And in a widely watched retrial in May, Sheldon Silver, the former State Assembly speaker, was convicted of corruption for the second time. Mr. Silver had long been one of the so-called “three men in a room” in Albany, who were said to control decision-making in the capital. Mr. Cuomo was another.
Here’s what you need to know about the upcoming trials:
One: The trial of Alain E. Kaloyeros, an ex-ally of Mr. Cuomo’s and the former president of the State University’s Polytechnic Institute. At his peak, Mr. Kaloyeros, a flamboyant physicist whom the governor once called “New York’s secret weapon,” had wide sway over the Buffalo Billion, the governor’s signature upstate economic development program.
The latest: The government accused Dr. Kaloyeros of bid-rigging — steering state contracts to an upstate firm and developer that had made significant contributions to Mr. Cuomo’s re-election campaign. He has pleaded not guilty.
What’s next: The trial begins today at federal court in Manhattan.
And two: The retrial of Dean G. Skelos, the former Republican majority leader of the New York State Senate, who forfeited his seat in 2015 after being convicted on federal corruption charges. Along with Mr. Cuomo and Mr. Silver, he had been the third of the “three men in a room.”
The latest: Both Mr. Skelos’s and Mr. Silver’s convictions were overturnedin 2017, by appellate panels that cited a Supreme Court decision that narrowed the legal definition of corruption.
What’s next: Mr. Skelos’s retrial begins Tuesday in federal court in Manhattan.