Two federal cases that the New York Times says mesmerized Albany last week — a state senator accused of trying to bribe his way onto the New York City mayoral ballot and an assemblyman charged with taking payoffs to write made-to-order legislation — were filed as federal prosecutors have increased their focus on political corruption.
The U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan has more than doubled its staff of prosecutors to work on public corruption to 14 and is using more aggressive tactics, says Richard Zabel, deputy U.S. attorney. George Venizelos, the assistant director in charge of the FBI's New York office, said the bureau had also increased its resources focused on public corruption cases. “They're some of the most important cases the F.B.I. works, because it's important that the government maintains the public trust,” he said, “because without the public trust, the government has trouble working.”