ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – With two of New York’s stop leaders being scrutinized by federal prosecutors, many in the state are questioning the legislature’s ability to function properly going forward and urgning others to rise up to face public corruption.
Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos remained silent when he arrived at the Capitol Monday night. He met with republican counterparts in a closed door meeting. He’s currently facing federal corruption charges.
“This is an outgrowth of what the Moreland Commission started,” Barbara Bartoletti said.
Bartoletti is with the New York League of Women Voters. She’s doubtful that any real progress at the Capitol can be made this season.
“I think it’s going to really stall things,” she said.
But it’s also made many question their leadership again.
“We’re seeing a circus herein Albany,” Dr. Bruce Roter said.
Dr. Roter is a professor at the College of Saint Rose. He said Skelos’ charges highlight the ethics of many at the Capitol.
“It’s frustrating,” he said. “It really is frustrating.”
Dr. Roter is behind the idea to build a museum of political corruption in Albany. He said there is plenty to fill the exhibits and the image is already in place.
“This is our city’s problem, too, because it is our city’s image,” he said.
But it’s that image that many people hope change with the latest allegations.
“And unfortunately, when all the power is concentrated in to the hands of three men, there is plenty of opportunity to take some of that power and give it back to yourself,” Bartoletti said.
Dr. Roter said that is the status quo continues, people can expect more politicians to face similar charges.
“There is bound to be temptation and corruption and a lack of transparency,” he said.
New York ranks 49th in the nation for voter turnout, and Dr. Roter said that unless a new attitude toward corruption is championed by those elected, the same pattern of corruption will continue.
“We’re hoping that new leadership will arise and can pave a more ethical path,” he said.
But while many hope Skelos’ charges spark a new effort in Albany, some believe prosecutors have targeted the wrong man.