Assemblyman Nelson Castro officially announced Thursday that he will soon resign from office, effective Monday.
But perhaps the biggest surprise in a lengthy statement released by his lawyer? Castro has been working as an informant for investigators since July 2009.
Castro, a Bronx Democrat, said he was indicted on perjury charges in 2009 related to a civil case from the previous year. After he was charged, he decided to cooperate with local and federal authorities and helped out with “various investigations.” He was first elected in 2008 and took office in 2009.
“As one result of this cooperation, among other things, this morning a complaint was unsealed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York charging Assemblyman Eric Stevenson and four others with various federal crimes,” Castro said in his statement. “I continue to cooperate with State and Federal authorities in this prosecution and in other investigations.”
Castro’s involvement was revealed Thursday morning, when an unnamed assemblyman was revealed as a cooperating witness in a criminal complaint against fellow Assemblyman Eric Stevenson, D-Bronx. As part of his deal to cooperate, Castro was required to resign, but the indictment against him will be dropped.
He did not elaborate on the perjury charge. The complaint against Stevenson said Castro had been charged with “multiple felonies.”
Castro’s full statement is below:
“Today I announce that I am resigning my seat in the New York State Assembly, effective Monday, April 8, 2013.
“On July 31, 2009, I was indicted by a Bronx County Grand Jury for committing perjury in a 2008 civil matter, held prior to my election to the Assembly. I appreciate the seriousness of my misconduct.
“Thereafter, I agreed to cooperate with the Bronx District Attorney’s Office and, later, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, in conjunction with various investigations aimed at rooting out public corruption. As one result of this cooperation, among other things, this morning a complaint was unsealed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York charging Assemblyman Eric Stevenson and four others with various federal crimes. I continue to cooperate with State and Federal authorities in this prosecution and in other investigations.
“I am very proud of my accomplishments and the many benefits that I have secured on behalf of my district over the last four years. These include helping thousands of constituents to apply for U.S. citizenship on a no-fee basis, and providing educational programs focusing on the Citizenship & Naturalization Exam; obtaining funding for technology purchases and initiatives for the schools in my district; sponsoring events for senior centers and youth programs in my district and beyond; and securing additional low cost housing units in the area. Most of all, I take pride in how our diverse population has united to transcend racial and ethnic differences and work together.
“My district is comprised of hard working and honest people, devoted to their families and to their community. I deeply regret my misconduct while campaigning before I was elected to office. It is my sincere hope that my constituents remember me most for the good I have done as their representative, rather than for the poor example I set as a candidate.
“Because of the sensitive nature of ongoing prosecutions and investigations, I must direct all further inquiries to my attorney, Michael C. Farkas, Esq.”