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Another state senator arrested on corruption charge


Former Senate Democratic Leader John Sampson turned himself in to federal authorities Monday after being accused in a nine-count indictment of embezzling nearly half-a-million dollars from mortgage foreclosure accounts and then trying to cover it up.According to the federal compliant, Senator Sampson is accused of embezzling $440,000 in funds that he was entrusted to care for as a court-appointed referee on four foreclosed Brooklyn properties.

The complaint says Sampson used part of the money to pay back debts incurred in a failed bid to be the Brooklyn District Attorney in 2005.

The charges involved a phony loan that, when discovered, Sampson tried to cover up. According to the complaint, he at one point tried to get a worker in the U.S. Attorney’s office to tell him the names of potential witnesses against him, threatening that he could have them taken out.

Several lawmakers, along with Governor Cuomo are pushing anti-corruption bills. Sue Lerner, with Common Cause, calls the charges “staggering”.

“What more do we need to pass some real reform in Albany?,” Lerner asks.

Sampson was stripped of his committee posts by the Senate Democratic leader and thrown out of the Senate Democratic Conference.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau Chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 public radio stations in New York State. WBFO listeners are accustomed to hearing DeWitt’s insightful coverage throughout the day, including expanded reports on Morning Edition.
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