Eric Stevenson, an Assemblyman in the Bronx, was charged with embezzling nearly $20,000 in bribes associated with the launch of an adult day care center.
Stevenson was sold out by one of his fellow colleagues, Assemblyman Nelson Castro. Castro agreed to cooperate with investigators in January 2012 and wore a wire to record Stevenson and other officials. Castro reports that Nelson pocketed one cash-filled envelope outside a steakhouse in the Bronx and even an Albany hotel bathroom, just to make the scene all mafioso-like.
In December 27, 2012, Stevenson was also recording holding forth about the prevalence of corruption in the New York political realm, especially referring to the conviction of Senator Pedro Espada, a Bronx Democrat:
"Bottom line ... if half the people up here in Albany were ever caught for what they do ... they ... would probably be (in jail). So who are they bullshitting? When the money is good and there is a way you can get it and you start to do it, and then you do it once, and then you notice that you don't get caught - then you go and do it again, and you keep doing it again, again, again."
This charge comes just two days after the arrest of New York state Senator Malcom Smith as well as a City Councilman, who were charged with attempting to rig a Manhattan mayoral race. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara told the New York Daily News that these two incidents are reflective of the current "show-me-the-money culture" in New York politics.
UPDATE: Assemblyman Nelson Castro just announced he will resign from office, starting on Monday, and admitted to working as an informant for investigators since July 2009, after being indicted on perjury charges that year.
"If you are a corrupt official in New York, you have to worry that one of your colleagues is working with us and that your misdeeds will be reported and reported to us, and that it will be that much harder to escape punishment."