Upstate Senator Convicted Of Lying To The FBI

Sen. Thomas Libous, the state Senate’s second-ranking Republican and an upstate Southern Tier political institution for more than two decades, was convicted Wednesday of lying to the FBI, a felony that will force his removal from office.

His expulsion from the State Senate leaves Republicans with 31 seats in the 63-seat chamber, one seat short of a majority. But Sen. Simcha Felder (D-Brooklyn) sits with the GOP, which maintains the party’s last grasp on power at the state level.

Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan issued a statement Wednesday evening saying that the Senate Republican Conference continues to hold the majority in the Senate and expressing 100 percent confidence that the GOP will win the special election in the 52nd Senate district.  Flanagan also said that the Senator Libous and his family “will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers in the weeks and months ahead.”

The case was brought by U.S. Attorney for the Southern District Preet Bharara said, who released a statement:

“Public corruption is a scourge. Every New Yorker wants us to work as hard as possible to end it. But lies to law enforcement make the job of fighting corruption doubly difficult. Today, a jury unanimously found that Tom Libous, the second highest ranking New York Senator, told lie after lie to hide the truth from federal agents investigating corruption in Albany. Libous’s lies have been exposed, his crime has been proven, and Albany will be the better for it.”

The decision comes six months after Libous’ son, Matthew, was convicted of under-reporting his income on his federal tax returns from 2007 to 2009.

[Note: This post has been updated to include Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan’s statement.]


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