The arrests of two state lawmakers on federal corruption charges last week were unwelcome reminders that New York is among the nation’s go-to destinations for political scandal, graft and greed.
They were also reminders of how difficult it is to stop unscrupulous lawmakers from violating the public trust.
“From time to time the question arises: How common is corruption in New York?” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said at a press conference on April 2 announcing the indictment of Democratic Sen. Malcolm Smith and a host of others in a bribery scheme to buy and sell the Republican line in the New York City mayoral race. “Based on the cases we have brought and continue to bring, it seems downright pervasive.”
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