WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
By Senator Rev. Ruben Diaz
32nd Senatorial District Bronx County, New York
I am disappointed and sad to learn that the latest New York State political corruption trial names New York State Senate Deputy Majority Leader Thomas Libous in trial testimony.
I have always considered Senator Thomas Libous to be a serious, straight-forward and responsible legislator, even though we disagree on some issues.
You should know that these news reports about a federal corruption trial in Westchester County contained testimony given about Senator Thomas Libous offering to “increase business to his politically-connected law firm in exchange for a high-paying job for his son, Matthew Libous.” Reports include testimony by Anthony Magone that Senator Libous insisted that his son should get hired not for $50,000, not for $100,000, but for $150,000 - which after 8 months, the firm could not afford.
According to the latest news reports, Senator Libous “has not been implicated for any illegal activity, but has been brought up in testimony in a Yonkers corruption trial.”
As this story continues to unfold, I hope that Senator Libous knows that he and his family will always be in my prayers and that I know he's not that type of person.
On the other hand, I am curious about the tepid news coverage of this story as it compares to the media frenzy about the Four Amigos. Do you remember the fuss that was made by the media about any accusation against my fellow Amigos, Senators Monserrate, Espada and Kruger and how aggressively these accusations were fomented by the media?
You should know that When the FBI conducts investigations, people get scared and often run for cover. You should also know that these investigations serve a good purpose because they are meant to prove either one of two things: 1) that you are dirty and deserve punishment; or 2) that you are super clean and deserve praise for it.
As I recall the political environment that surrounded the scrutiny of the Four Amigos, I would like to ask a question to all of the “super clean” people and to all of the investigative journalists who covered these stories: Please, would anyone let me know,” whatever happened to the $14 million dollars Pedro Espada was accused of stealing?”
You know that (then) Attorney General Andrew Cuomo made public allegations that Pedro Espada stole $14 million dollars. You should know that Pedro Espada was never indicted for stealing $14 million dollars. I wonder if anyone is willing to follow up on these very formal and strong allegations?
What happened to former Attorney General Andrew Cuomo’s accusation that Pedro Espada stole $14 million dollars? Was our former Attorney General abusing his power and exaggerating this claim about Pedro Espada and $14 million dollars and if not, are there any penalties or punishments for anyone who makes false accusations? What proof did he rely upon to make that accusation? Why wasn’t Pedro Espada indicted for stealing $14 million dollars? Was (then) Attorney General Andrew Cuomo part of a coordinated smear campaign in his role as Attorney General to make sure Pedro Espada would lose his Senate seat?
I look forward to any closure that may come about in the media, and I remain hopeful and pray that people stop using their power and resources to smear and release damaging statements to destroy the integrity and reputation of others. I also hope that this is not the case with Senator Thomas Libous.
I am Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz and this is what you should know.