Ex-NY Senate leader, son guilty of extortion charges

Former New York state Senate leader Dean Skelos and his wife Gail Skelos arrive at Federal court, in New York, Friday, Dec. 11, 2015. Jury deliberations began Thursday at the corruption trial of Skelos, accused of using his clout to extort about $300,000 in income and other benefits for his son, Adam Skelos. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

NEW YORK (AP) — Former New York Senate leader Dean Skelos and his adult son have been convicted of charges that the once-powerful Republican used his office to extort about $300,000 in salary and other benefits for the son.

A federal jury in Manhattan reached the verdict Friday after a public corruption trial that featured wiretap recordings of unvarnished conversations between Skelos and his only child, Adam.

Prosecutors said the tapes were proof the pair schemed behind the scenes to pressure three companies into agreeing to employ his 33-year-old son.

The defense argued that Skelos was merely a loving father eager to take care of his only child, not a politician on the take.

Late last month, another jury convicted former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver of bribery.

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