Shapiro Arato Files Motions for Dismissal of the Indictment and a Hearing on Grand Jury Leaks in Advance of Retrial of Former New York State Senate Majority Leader

On March 1, 2018, Shapiro Arato filed pretrial motions on behalf of former New York State Senator Dean Skelos in advance of his retrial on corruption charges.  (We represented Mr. Skelos on appeal before the Second Circuit, which granted him a new trial.)  The two motions argue that the indictment should be dismissed for various legal deficiencies, and that the district court should hold a hearing to investigate whether government agents repeatedly leaked information about secret grand jury proceedings to the press in violation of federal rules.

The motion to dismiss contends, among other things, that in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in McDonnell v. United States, 136 S. Ct. 2355 (2016), the grand jury received erroneous legal instructions prior to issuing the indictment, and the charges fail to satisfy the standards for illegal corruption.  A copy of the brief can be found here.

The motion for a hearing argues that government agents repeatedly leaked information about secret, ongoing grand jury proceedings, and that the court should hold a hearing to ascertain the extent of these leaks and determine the appropriate remedy for these violations.  A copy of the brief, which was redacted for public filing, can be found here.

Mr. Skelos also joined in a motion to transfer the trial to a venue outside of New York and the surrounding region, filed by counsel for his son and co-defendant Adam Skelos.

These pretrial motions have generated immediate press coverage: