Preet Bharara creeps closer to Cuomo with latest indictment


Preet Bharara creeps closer to Cuomo with latest indictment

By Fredric U. Dicker

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Preet Bharara and Andrew Cuomo Photo: FilmMagic (2)

US Attorney Preet Bharara moved “a giant step closer” to Gov. Andrew Cuomo late last week with an indictment that alleges insurance exec Anthony Bonomo, a top Cuomo contributor whom the governor made chairman of the New York Racing Association, gave a lucrative no-show job to state Sen. Dean Skelos’ son, sources have told The Post.

“Bonomo is Cuomo’s guy, and he wouldn’t offer anything to Skelos’ kid without first making sure it was OK with the governor or his people,’’ said a senior state Democrat.

“The fact that Bonomo, like Dorego, is cooperating with Bharara brings the whole investigation a giant step closer to Cuomo,’’ the Democrat added, referring to Charles Dorego, a top official at Cuomo megacontributor Leonard Litwin’s Glenwood Management.

Glenwood, a real estate development firm, has been linked to the Skelos indictment and the indictment of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. Dorego is cooperating with Bharara’s probe.

Others at the Capitol agreed Bharara appeared to be moving closer to charging Cuomo and/or one or more of his top aides in his investigation of corruption in state government, which originated with Cuomo’s abrupt closure last year of his Moreland Act Commission as it was closing in on evidence of wrongdoing.

“This is a drip by drip that’s getting closer and closer to Cuomo, with Bonomo and Dorego providing prosecutors with an inside look at how the corrupt Albany system works,’’ explained a second senior state political figure.

Bharara has refused to say who remains in his cross hairs, but has told the media to “stay tuned” for more high-profile arrests.

The latest indictment by Bharara formalized corruption charges against Skelos (R-Nassau), who just resigned as Senate majority leader, and his son, Adam, but added an important element.

The indictment said a state-regulated insurance company — identified as the Bonomo-run Physicians Reciprocal Insurers (PRI) — gave Adam Skelos a no-show job worth more than $100,000 at a time when it was lobbying Sen. Skelos on legislative matters.

A spokesman for the Roslyn, LI-based insurer said Friday that Bonomo — who with family members contributed nearly $250,000 to Cuomo’s campaign committee — and others at the company “are fully cooperating with the US Attorney’s Office.”

Several sources at the Capitol said Bonomo’s alleged willingness to provide a no-show job to Adam Skelos was further proof of Cuomo’s close political ties to Sen. Skelos.

“If you needed any further proof of Skelos’ ties to Cuomo and his people, this job from Bonomo’s company for Skelos’ kid should provide it,” said a top GOP official.

If involved in the job scheme, PRI could have violated state law.

Matthew Anderson, spokesman for the state Financial Services Department, which regulates insurers, declined to comment, citing the ongoing investigation.

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4 Responses to Preet Bharara creeps closer to Cuomo with latest indictment

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