A Bronx state assemblyman was convicted of bribery charges Monday after a jury saw video images of him accepting what prosecutors said were envelopes of cash paid to protect a new adult center in his district from competitors.
The verdict against Democratic Assemblyman Eric Stevenson came after a weeklong trial in Manhattan federal court featured testimony that he had accepted a total of $22,000 in bribes on three occasions in 2012 and early 2013.
Prosecutors said he made phone calls to help the Bronx adult center get its electrical needs met before introducing a bill in the state legislature to ban competitors from opening near the adult center for three years.
U.S. District Judge Loretta A. Preska set sentencing for May 20.
Stevenson did not testify. A lawyer for Stevenson had argued that the government used a corrupt informant to trick Stevenson into saying things that sounded incriminating.
Stevenson said after the verdict that he would “accept what Allah’s will is.”
In a statement, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “As a unanimous jury swiftly found, Assemblyman Stevenson brazenly betrayed the public that elected him. Graft and greed are intolerable in Albany, and we will go to trial as often as we have to until government in New York is cleaned up.”