Updated at 2:50pm.
Just when you thought New York politics couldn't get any more drenched into dirty money, Bronx Assemblyman Eric Stevenson was charged on Thursday morning with several counts of corruption and conspiracy, stemming from a series of bribes Stevenson allegedly sought in exchange for writing and supporting legislation that would help certain businesses in Stevenson's district. The U.S. Attorney's Office in the Southern District of New York brought the charges against Stevenson and four other men participating in the bribery scheme.
According to a copy of the complaint, Stevenson solicited bribes, totaling approximately $20,000, from those four — Igor Belyansky, Rostislav Belansky, Igor Tsimerman, and David Binman — in exchange for legislation that would benefit a chain of adult day care centers that the four men were hoping to erect in various locations around the Bronx. (Stevenson serves 79th Assembly District, which comprises portions of south-central Bronx.) The complaint, which arose from a complex surveillance operation that tracked Stevenson and the four men as they spoke and exchanged envelopes full of cash on multiple occasions, says that Stevenson agreed to introduce and write legislation that would halt all new construction on adult day care centers in New York City for three years, thus limiting any competition to his friends' new venture.