State Sen. Thomas Libous, R-Binghamton, was indicted Tuesday by a federal grand jury on a felony charge of making false statements to the FBI in 2010.
Libous, 61, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment at the federal courthouse in White Plains.
Libous, who serves as the state Senate’s deputy Republican conference leader for legislative operations, has been the subject of an investigation into an employment arrangement his son, Matthew, had with a law firm in Westchester County.
At the time of the alleged false statements, Libous was representing Delaware, Chenango, Broome and Tioga counties.
The indictment states that Sen. Libous, while being interviewed by an FBI agent, “knowingly and did willfully falsify, conceal and cover up material facts by trick, scheme and device and did make materially false, fictitious and fraudulent statements and representations” to an FBI agent who questioned.
At the time, the FBI was investigating allegations that Libous had promised to steer future business to a law firm that employed his son, prompting the firm to boost the son’s salary by $50,000 annually and to pay for the lease of a Range Rover for the son, “the payments for which Libous guaranteed,” the indictment states.
The indictment also states that the FBI and IRS were investigating allegations that Senator Libous told a partner of the law firm in question that “the firm would ‘have to build a new wing’ to accommodate the business it would receive if it hired his son.”
The indictment was secured by Preet Bharara, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. Authorities also announced that Matthew Libous, 32, was charged with six felonies, including federal tax evasion and obstruction of justice.
Bharara said in a statement: “As alleged, Thomas Libous took advantage of his position as Senator and Chairman of the Transportation Committee by corruptly causing lobbyists, who wanted Libous’ influence to benefit their clients, to funnel money through a law firm to his son where Libous has gotten his son a position. He then tried to cover up his corrupt conduct by lying to FBI Agents about his knowledge of his son’s arrangement with the firm, as the Indictment describes.