NEW YORK |
(Reuters) - New York State Assemblyman Eric Stevenson and four others have been charged with corruption, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York said on Thursday, in the second graft case that office has brought against New York politicians this week.
Federal prosecutors have accused Stevenson of taking bribes in exchange for official acts, "which included drafting, proposing, and agreeing to enact legislation that would benefit the co-defendants' businesses," the office of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement.
Two of the other defendants were charged in connection with paying a bribe to another assemblyman, who was cooperating with federal prosecutors at the time, the statement said.
According to prosecutors, Stevenson - a Democrat from a prominent Bronx political family who was elected in 2010 - accepted or agreed to accept about $20,000 in bribes over the past year.
Stevenson's district office offered no comment.
In a separate case on Tuesday, Democratic New York State Senator Malcolm A. Smith was arrested and charged with trying to buy a place on the Republican ticket in the city's mayoral race, in what prosecutors said was his central role in a series of bribery schemes that reflected pervasive corruption in New York politics.
Five other politicians - three Republicans and two Democrats - were also arrested and charged with collectively accepting more than $100,000 of bribes in meetings that often took place in parked cars, hotel rooms and state offices, according to court papers.
(Reporting by Daniel Trotta; Editing by Bernadette Baum)