There will be no bringing home the bacon this year for indicted state Assemblyman Anthony Seminerio (D−Richmond Hill) after Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D−Manhattan) declined to allocate member items for his embattled colleague.
The assembly’s 4,424−page list of legislative initiatives, more commonly known as member items, was made public last week with no mention of Seminerio, who was indicted on honest services mail fraud charges last year and on corruption charges in March but has not yet been convicted.
Seminerio, 74, did not respond to requests for comment, but told the Albany Times−Union he deserved his share of funds.
“They’re punishing me,” he told the paper. “There’s no judgment in the case. I’m supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. I was very disappointed.”
Seminerio took part in a failed coup attempt to oust Silver as speaker in 2000 that cost him his position of assistant majority leader and the $19,500 attached to the title.
The assemblyman is accused of setting up a fake consulting company that he used to accept corrupt payments from entities seeking his influence in Albany. A superseding indictment brought in March added charges that Seminerio extorted and tried to extort three individuals into hiring his consulting business.
Like Seminerio, state Sen. Hiram Monserrate (D−East Elmhurst) has been indicted but not convicted. Monserrate is facing an assault rap on allegations from Queens District Attorney Richard Brown that he slashed his girlfriend’s face with a broken glass.
Monserrate has maintained that his prosecution is politically motivated because of his past criticisms of Brown’s office.
A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith (D−St. Albans) could not be reached as to whether Monserrate’s member items were taken away.
A listing of Senate member items for this year have not yet been made public.
Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e−mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 173.
©2009 Community News Group
By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:
You agree that you, and not TimesLedger.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to TimesLedger.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.