Another state lawmaker is facing federal criminal charges—this time, a powerful Republican state senator who has been a longtime ally of Governor Andrew Cuomo. NY1's Josh Robin filed the following report.
It's a familiar walk down courthouse steps—this time Thomas Libous faces the microphones to plead innocence.
"I'll tell all the people of New York State that I committed no crime. I've done nothing wrong," Libous says.
Deputy majority leader in the state Senate, Libous leads the debate for his side on the Senate floor.
Libous helped engineer the Republican takeover five years ago.
Almost exactly a year ago, prosecutors say Libous lied to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was looking into whether the senator used his clout to get his son a job with a law firm, promising to steer it state work.
Libous allegedly told them he knew nothing of the sort.
He faces five years in prison.
U.S. attorney Preet Bharara says in a statement: "Public servants should serve the public first, not themselves and their families. This office will continue to pursue elected officials who attempt to take corrupt advantage of their positions."
Libous and his lawyer wonder whether it's politically timed, however.
"It was two years ago that the same matter came up just as Tom was facing re-election, and here we are on the cusp of re-election facing the same allegations," says Paul DerOhannesian, Libous' attorney.
This time, Libous is also in treatment for advanced cancer.
Libous is a republican but has long worked closely with Governor Andrew cuomo, a Democrat.
They're closeness extended beyond government. Last June, Cuomo attended Matt Libous' wedding.
Cuomo didn't return a request for comment.
Matthew Libous is charged with six counts of tax-related crimes, including failing to report nearly a quarter million dollars in personal expenses he got from a cellular phone company.
He faces up to 18 years in prison.
Both father and son are due back in court later this summer.