The Senate now has two vacancies that will be filled in November after two sitting Senators were convicted of federal crimes.
Last Wednesday, State Senator Tom Libous (R-Binghamton) was convicted of lying to F.B.I. agents about obtaining a job for his son. As a result of his conviction, he forfeits the Senate that he has held since 1989. Libous has served as the deputy Republican leader since 2008. He represented the 52nd Senate District in the state’s Southern Tier, which includes Broome and Tioga counties, as well as parts of Chenango and Delaware counties.
In 2010, federal agents who were investigating whether Senator Libous used his influence to arrange for a law firm to hire his son questioned the Senator about it. The charges he was convicted of related to lying to the F.B.I, not using his influence to get a job for his son.
On Friday, State Senator John Sampson (D-Brooklyn) was convicted of three charges, one count of obstruction of justice and two counts of making false statements to federal agents. He was accused, as an attorney in private practice, of embezzling $440,000 from mortgage escrow accounts as part of his work as a court-appointed referee in foreclosure hearings. He was also alleged to have received $188,500 in payments from a real estate figure in an effort to cover up the embezzlement before it was discovered.
Sampson, who was first elected in 1996, served as the Senate Democratic leader from the summer of 2009 until 2012. He represented the 19th Senate District, which includes the Canarsie and East New York neighborhoods in Brooklyn.
Unless Gov. Cuomo calls a special election to fill them sooner, both Senate seats will be filled at the November 2015 general election.