Probe: Skelos Used Senate Staff, Resources to Find Personality

By Curtis Riboflavin

Published April 6th, 2015

ALBANY – Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos is hoping to find a personality before federal investigators make their next move.

The leader of the state’s Republican-controlled upper house ordered Senate staffers to ransack “every nook-and-cranny” between the Capital Region and his home district in Nassau County to locate a personality, according to insiders briefed on the delicate situation.

In doing so, sources say, Skelos could be setting himself up to be the next notch on the belt of pol-busting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who said to “stay tuned” for more after Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Prison Bound, was arrested on bribery charges in January.

In 2008, Skelos succeeded popular Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno despite the absence of a personality in “any way, shape or form,” said Phil Zowers, one the state’s best-known Republican strategists.

“We thought about making (former Sen.) Greg Ball the leader because he clearly suffered from multiple personality disorder. I mean, the guy had too many personalities,” Zowers said. “We figured that would be better than none. Instead, though, we got stuck with Dean. He's got nothing. Working for him is like attending a tax seminar. Every day.”

Sources said Skelos ramped up the search for a persona after reports came out in January that he was under federal investigation. Part of the probe is centered on Skelos’ use of Senate of staffers and resources to find the “perfect persona,” sources said.

“Dean is a lawyer. He knows that if he has an existing personality it’s a very plausible defense against these charges,” said Dale Gribbitt, a Senate staffer close to Skelos who has never had a personal conversation with him.  “Trust me. No one would believe Dean has two personalities. He just needs one. Anything will do. Lord, if he wasn’t so boring he wouldn’t be in this mess. Poor fella.”

Corrie Goings, a spokesman for Skelos, said in a statement: "This thinly-sourced report by the Albany Smudge is irresponsible and does not meet the standards of serious journalism. Sen. Skelos has not tried to locate a personality. He is very happy with the one he doesn’t have.”


• Cuomo: Lawmakers must be followed home
• Cuomo Unveils Ambitious Plan for Rest of Term and Beyond
• NYC Mayor Tells Albany to Repeal 'Draconian' murder laws
• Budget geekery begins
• Cuomo eyes ban on smiling