The long list of public officials either accused or convicted of corruption continues in New York State.
U.S. Attorney James Kennedy announced Tuesday that George Moses, chairman of the board at the Rochester Housing Authority, has been arrested following accusations of lying to the FBI.
Moses, 50, is charged by criminal complaint with making false statements to special agents of the FBI. The charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The criminal complaint alleges that in 2015 Moses helped appoint current Rochester City Councilman Adam McFadden as a board member of the Rochester Housing Charities (RHC) and approved a $300,000 loan from the RHA to the RHC. McFadden previously served as the interim executive director of the RHA in 2014.
McFadden also owns a development company, Caesar Development. He is not charged in the complaint, however.
The RHA provides housing opportunities and services for the Rochester community and has an annual contract with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development from which it receives millions of dollars.
Moses is scheduled to return to court for a hearing on November 8 at 9 a.m.
McFadden simply said "no comment" in response to Tuesday's arrest announcement.
“Everybody at this point who was involved in these series of transactions set forth in the criminal complaint would be within purview of the investigation that’s being conducted," Kennedy said.
Daniel Mastrella, Moses' attorney, said the charges "stem from his sincere attempt previously to cooperate with the government and their inquiry. We're, of course, disappointed he's been charged here but we'll let the proceedings take their course."
Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren, in a statement released Tuesday afternoon, said "Impropriety at any level of government cannot be tolerated. I was surprised to learn of the allegations outlined today by the U.S. Attorney. Personally knowing the individuals involved, I would be highly disappointed if these allegations are proven true."
Tim Curtin, the city's corporation counsel, said that Moses will be taking a leave of absence from his position on the Housing Authority Board of Commissioners as the case is tried.
Corruption from public officials is a story told often in the Empire State. Less than two weeks ago, State Assemblyman Joe Errigo (R-133) was charged with bribery and wire fraud after admitting to accepting $5,500 to introduce legislation. Prior to Tuesday, that was just the latest chapter in a very long story for New York's state government: A public official accused of a crime.
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. It's an issue whoever ultimately is elected as the new state Attorney General will have to tackle.