[Editor’s note: The Dismal Political Economist resided for over 25 years in western
. He knows of what he speaks.] New York
John Marshall Mantel for The New York Times
The current story of the admission of tax evasion by former state senator Nicholas Spano of
Westchester county is just one example. In New York a real estate transaction with the state needs a broker of record, which Mr. Spano was in some cases. Every piece of evidence suggests that Mr. Spano was getting paid off by somebody.
Mr. Spano falsely claimed that some of the money he received from the insurance company was rental payments on a property that he owned in
. He also failed to report actual rental payments he received from the tenants of the same Yonkers property. Separately, he failed to report a $45,000 commission he received from the sale of a commercial property in Yonkers . . . White Plains
Mr. Spano also did not properly disclose his business dealings on his state ethics filings, records show.
In some years, he reported no income at all from the insurance scheme, while in other years, he underreported his income by tens of thousands of dollars. State officials and legal experts said that because Mr. Spano was defeated in 2006, he was unlikely to face any state ethics charges — regulators have limited jurisdiction over lawmakers after they leave office.
Mr. Spano has agreed to plead guilty to income tax evasion, apparently not recognizing that someone in his position had to pay taxes on money legally received and even had to pay taxes on money illegally received. That’s right all you would be takers of graft, that money is taxable and if you do not report it you are violating income tax laws.
It would be nice to say that Mr. Spano, being a Republican is representative of Republicans in the state, but alas, the corruption is extensive and seems to cross party lines.
The former Senate majority leader Joseph L. Bruno, an upstate Republican, faces a second federal corruption trial after his 2009 conviction was overturned. Last year, former Senator Carl Kruger, a
Brooklyn Democrat, pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges.
Another former senator, Vincent L. Leibell III, a
Republican, was sentenced to 21 months in prison after pleading guilty to obstruction of justice and tax evasion. A former Senate president, Pedro Espada Jr., a Bronx Democrat, is facing a trial on charges that he misappropriated more than half a million dollars in federal money from the nonprofit health care network he operates in the borough. Hudson Valley
So there is bad news and there is worse news. The bad news is just how corrupt (and incompetent, but that’s another story) elected officials are in
state. The worse news, these are only the people who got caught. New York