Glenwood Exec Takes Stand at Skelos Trial, Details Ex-Majority Leader’s Temper

Clockwise from upper left: Robert Steel, then New York City deputy mayor for economic development, left, Steven Spinola, then-president of REBNY (standing), Sen. Dean Skelos and Leonard Litwin, founder of Glenwood Management, in 2011.
Clockwise from upper left: Robert Steel, then New York City deputy mayor for economic development, left, Steven Spinola, then-president of REBNY (standing), Sen. Dean Skelos and Leonard Litwin, founder of Glenwood Management, in 2011.


A top real estate company official recalled today how indicted ex-State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos shook down himself and other industry leaders for donations ahead of votes on key issues—while simultaneously pestering him to get work for his son, Adam Skelos, who is also on trial.

Charles Dorego, chief counsel for luxury developer Glenwood Management, testified how the Nassau County Republican used heavy-handed threats to extract political contributions during election years while the industry lobbied the pol on key issues—and all while the legislator and his son incessantly pestered him for employment opportunities. The lawyer, who handled much of Glenwood’s political work, said the company hoped to obstruct the passage of campaign finance reform laws, see the controversial 421a tax abatement renewed, obtain a favorable tax cap on revenue from apartment buildings and to prevent Democrats from taking control of the State Senate and giving control of the New York City rent laws from Albany to the City Council—which Mr. Dorego compared to “an atomic bomb.”

Mr. Dorego recalled a 2012 exchange with the then-majority leader in which Mr. Skelos imparted a warning for Related Companies partners Stephen Ross and Bruce Beal about what would happen if they didn’t contribute more to the State Senate Republican Campaign Committee.

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