The Albany Times Union by CASEY SEILER - December 7, 2010
ALBANY, NEW YORK -- A state senator demanded a kickback from an attorney, and then instructed him to lie to federal investigators about it. "You and I say there was never any cash relationship -- period," former Sen. Vincent Leibell told the attorney in June, according to court documents. " ... All I know is, as long as you and I are consistent, I'm fine, you're fine." Instead, the Putnam County Republican pleaded guilty Monday morning to federal charges of obstruction of justice and tax evasion. Leibell also admitted to filing false tax returns between 2003 and 2006, failing to declare $43,000 in "consulting fees" from a local law firm that did business for Putnam County. Leibell, a former assemblyman who entered the Senate in 1995, faces 18 to 24 months in prison and up to $40,000 in fines, plus restitution. He said, "Guilty, your honor" when the charges were read in a federal courtroom in White Plains. He apologized to family, friends and constituents, saying "I deeply regret these actions." Leibell, 64, gave up the position of Putnam County executive, to which he was elected last month. He'll remain free on $100,000 bond until his sentencing, scheduled for March 7. Court documents describe Leibell's shakedown of an attorney who had done work for a not-for-profit housing organization. The senator threatened an outstanding legal bill would not be paid unless it was split with him. After Leibell learned the attorney -- unnamed by prosecutors -- had been subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury, the senator met with him several times between April and June 2010, and told him to lie about the payments. In a June 6 conversation that was recorded by the attorney, Leibell told the attorney to tell investigators that the large sums he was withdrawing were intended to pay for family medical expenses, or were being set aside in case of terrorist attack. In a news conference, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara would not comment on whether the investigation involved the $1.4 million home Leibell built in Patterson after buying the land for $110,000 from the family of "Bewitched" actress Elizabeth Montgomery. Leibell acknowledged in June that the FBI had subpoenaed building records for the home. Bharara also would not say how Leibell used the kickback money. And he would not comment on whether Leibell was cooperating with prosecutors in a larger probe. Leibell's retirement from the Senate took effect on Friday. Regardless of his sentence, he'll continue to receive a state pension worth around $70,000 a year. "Vinny Leibell will be paying his debt to society," Senate Republican leader Dean Skelos said in a brief statement. "My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family during this difficult time." The Associated Press contributed to this report. Casey Seiler can be reached at 454-5619 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
VINCENT L. LEIBELL III
Attorney Detail as of 12/07/2010
Registration Number: 1098532
VINCENT L. LEIBELL III
CURTISS & LEIBELL, P.C.
20 CHURCH ST., CARMEL, NY 10512-2105
United States (914) 225-5500
Year Admitted in NY: 1975
Appellate Division Department of Admission: 2
Law School: ST JOHNS UNIV
Registration Status: Currently registered
Next Registration: Aug 2012
Vincent L. Leibell (December 10, 1883 – September 22, 1968) was a United States federal judge. Leibell was born in New York, New York. He received a M.A. from St. Francis Xavier College in 1905. He received an LL.B. from Fordham University School of Law in 1908. He was in private practice in New York City from 1909 to 1936. Leibell was a federal judge on the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Leibell was nominated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on June 8, 1936, to a seat vacated by Francis A. Winslow. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on June 16, 1936, and received his commission on June 20, 1936. He assumed senior status on January 1, 1954. Leibell's service was terminated on September 22, 1968, due to death. He died in New York, New York. He was the grandfather of New York State Senator Vincent Leibell III (1946-)
Vincent L. Leibell (born August 6, 1946) is a former New York State Senator and former County Executive-elect of Putnam County in New York State. A Republican, Leibell decided not to seek re-election to the New York State Senate in 2010 and successfully won the race for Putnam County Executive in the same year.   On December 6th, 2010, Leibell plead guilty to felony bribery, tax evasion, and obstruction of justice charges related to $43,000 in cash kickbacks he took from 2003 to 2006. As part of the deal, Leibell resigned immediately from the State Senate, where his term would have extended to the end of the month, and agreed not to take office as Putnam County Executive on January 1st. He faces up to 13 years in prison at his sentencing on March 7th. Leibell was born in New York City. He was first elected to the New York State Senate in 1994 when he defeated former New York State Lieutenant Governor Alfred DelBello. Previously, he had worked as an Assistant District Attorney in the Westchester County District Attorney's office and served six terms in the state Assembly, where he had risen to the position of Assistant Minority Leader pro tempore. He is a member of the Republican party and represents New York's 40th District which includes Putnam County and parts of Southern Dutchess and Northern Westchester Counties. While serving in the Senate, Vincent Leibell has held the chairmanships of the following committees: Housing, Construction and Community Development; Corporations, Authorities and Commissions; Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs; Civil Service and Pensions.