The arrest of Republican Assemblyman Joe Errigo is just one chapter in a very long story for New York's state government: An elected official accused of corruption, giving yet another black eye to the state Capitol.
“This is usual Albany, to have lots of instances of scandal and bribery going on,” said Jennifer Wilson, League of Women Voters.
Errigo faces bribery and fraud charges, accused by federal prosecutors of accepting cash in exchange for introducing a bill backed by an unnamed lobbyist. Another shoe may still drop in the case. Prosecutors say an unnamed member of the Assembly acted as a middleman for the bribes.
“I think there's just a lot of money and power in New York state. Now these things are coming out of the woodwork. This has been going on since the Rockefeller days, they've been going on forever, but now we have attorneys who are actually pursuing these instances of corruption,” said Wilson.
This decade alone has seen dozens of lawmakers and top officials in New York's government arrested and be found guilty of a variety of corruption cases. The list includes a close former aide to Gov. Cuomo, the former legislative leaders in the Assembly and Senate, Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos, as well as rank-and-file lawmakers disgraced by their convictions.
It's not clear what if anything can be done to stem the corruption tide, either, or if New York's political culture since the days of Boss Tweed can be changed.
“I think in the last couple of years, when we've seen these cases, the Skelos case, the Silver case, the Percoco case and we really haven't passed any meaningful ethics reforms," said Wilson.
Errigo is yet to comment on the charges.