Brooklyn Sen. John Sampson, once one of the state’s most powerful lawmakers, was taken into custody early Monday, according to the FBI’s New York office.
Sampson led the Senate Democrats when they controlled the chamber in 2009 and 2010, succeeding Sen. Malcolm Smith, a Queens Democrat currently facing federal bribery charges of his own. He was the Senate’s minority leader in 2011 and 2012 before he was replaced by Yonkers Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins.
Charges against a sitting senator — now revealed to be Sampson — were expected this week after federal prosecutors revealed last week that former Sen. Shirley Huntley had been wearing a wire on their behalf. In a sentencing memorandum for Huntley, the U.S. Attorney’s office in Brooklyn said conversations between Huntley and three elected officials turned up evidence for prosecutors.
Sampson would become the fourth sitting state lawmaker charged with corruption offenses since the beginning of April. Two days after Smith was charged, Assemblyman Eric Stevenson, D-Bronx, was accused of participating in his own bribery scheme.
On Friday, Assemblyman William Boyland, D-Brooklyn, was hit with another corruption charge after prosecutors alleged he used public funds directed to a non-profit to print “Team Boyland” shirts and otherwise promote himself. Boyland had also been facing separate corruption charges.