New York State Senator John Sampson "was convicted Friday of obstructing justice and lying to FBI agents by a federal jury in Brooklyn" as reported by John Marzulli for the Daily News: "the charges in the 10-count indictment stemmed from Sampson's alleged embezzling of hundreds of thousands of dollars entrusted to him as a court-appointed referee of foreclosure properties." Federal prosecutors also had brought embezzlement charges against Senator Sampson but the presiding judge dismissed them before trial because the statute of limitations had passed.
After his indictment Senator Sampson allegedly sought a list of cooperating witnesses from a friend who worked for the federal prosecutors "so he could arrange to 'take them out'" as reported by Mosi Secret for The New York Times.
Senator Sampson unsuccessfully sought to unseat Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes in a 2005 primary.
Earlier this week a federal jury convicted State Senator Thomas Libous for "lying to agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation who were examining his son's hiring at a politically connected law firm" as reported by Thomas Kaplan for The New York Times: "in January, his son Matthew Libous was convicted of federal tax charges," and "later sentenced to six months in prison."
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara has made public corruption among New York lawmakers an investigative priority for his office, and he recently indicted Senate leader Dean Skelos and Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver.
Last May Bharara gave the commencement address at Pace University law school, and told graduates "we have corrosive corruption in our state capital" as reported by Jacob Gerschman for the Wall Street Journal Law Blog.