Former Queens state assemblyman Tony Seminerio was sentenced today to six years in prison for running a bribery and extortion scheme for more than a decade.
Seminerio, who represented the 38th District in southwest Queens for three decades, pled guilty in June to soliciting for himself as much as half a million dollars in payoffs from hospitals and other clients to push Albany bureaucrats for favors.
The 74-year-old pol’s bluster and blarney were legendary — as the Voice’s Tom Robbins has pointed out (“A Dose of Albany Fraud from Tony Seminerio,” November 3, 2009).
The secretly taped conversations of the shakedown artist are priceless. At one point, as Robbins wrote in 2008, Seminerio even revealed how he become his own lobbyist, telling a friend, convicted assemblyman Brian McLaughlin: “I was doing favors for these sons of bitches there, you know, they were making thousands. ‘Screw you — from now on, I’m the consultant.’ “