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Another day, another senator off to jail

Corruption Probe NY.JPEG-0f
Former Senator Shirley Huntley was sentenced by a federal judge in Brooklyn on Thursday afternoon to a year and a day in jail for embezzlement.


By Tom Precious

ALBANY – She sat in her living room secretly recording six state lawmakers at the behest of federal investigators, but it wasn’t enough to keep former Senator Shirley Huntley, a Queens Democrat, out of jail.

The 74-year-old lawmaker, who resigned amid her own corruption scandal involving embezzlement of state funds at a non-profit agency she oversaw, was sentenced by a federal judge in Brooklyn on Thursday afternoon to a year and a day in jail.

Huntley is the second, known ex-lawmaker who was revealed in recent weeks to have word a wire at the behest of federal investigators to record fellow state legislators in an attempt to win leniency from prosecutors for their own illegal acts.

The growing scandals, including the recent arrests of two former top Democratic leaders of the state Senate on corruption or theft charges, has lawmakers in Albany asking two basic questions: who is next and who else is wearing a wire? Huntley recorded and photographed six state lawmakers – five from New York City and one from Westchester County – last summer for probes that investigators say are still underway.

The two recently arrested former Senate Democratic leaders, John Sampson of Brooklyn and Malcolm Smith of Queens, were among those Huntley caught on tape.

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About Politics Now

Robert J. McCarthy

Robert J. McCarthy

A native of Schenectady, Robert J. McCarthy came to The Buffalo News in 1982 following a six-year stint at the Olean Times Herald. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and has been covering local, state and national politics since 1992.

rmccarthy@buffnews.com


Tom Precious

Tom Precious

Tom Precious joined The Buffalo News in 1997 as bureau chief at the state Capitol, where he covers everything from statewide politics and state government fiscal affairs to health care, environmental and municipal government matters. Prior to The News, he worked for news outlets in Albany and Washington, DC.

tprecious@buffnews.com


Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri is an Amherst native and has covered politics and government in upstate New York since 2003. She joined The Buffalo News in 2012 and covers City Hall.

@jillterreri | jterreri@buffnews.com


Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.

@JerryZremski | jzremski@buffnews.com

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