Manhattan’s District Attorney, Robert Morgenthau, charged the Bronx and Westchester Senator, Guy Velella, with “conspiracy to accept bribes” in 2002.
After first denying the charges, Velella admitted in court that he had collected $137,000 in bribes, which were disguised as legal fees sent to his father’s law firm. In return, he strong-armed state officials to assign contracts to the companies who’d paid him bribes. One contract: A multi-million deal to paint the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, which Velella wanted given to a company with extensive safety violations. Who cares about our safety when there’s money to be made?
Guilty Guy headed the Bronx Republican Party and the Senate Republican Campaign Committee when he was indicted. He spent 28 years in the Legislature, including 18 years in the Senate.
Guilty Guy was sentenced to one year on Riker’s and served 182 days. He was released after about half that time by a mayoral panel, but later forced to return to Riker’s to serve another three months. He died in 2011.