Thomas W. Libous

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Thomas W. Libous
New York State Senator Thomas W. Libous.jpg
Member of the New York Senate
from the 51st, then the 52nd district
In office
January 1989 July 22, 2015
Preceded by Warren M. Anderson
Succeeded by Fred Akshar
Personal details
Born(1953-04-16)April 16, 1953
Johnson City, New York, U.S.
DiedMay 3, 2016(2016-05-03) (aged 63)
Endicott, New York
Political party Republican
Spouse(s)Frances Libous
ChildrenMatthew
Nicholas
Alma mater State University of New York,
Broome

State University of New York,
Utica

Thomas W. Libous (April 14, 1953 – May 3, 2016) was an American politician who served as New York State Senator for the 52nd Senate District, representing the counties of Broome, Tioga, Chenango and Delaware.

New York State Senate upper state chamber of New York State

The New York State Senate is the upper house of the New York State Legislature. Its members are elected to two-year terms; there are no term limits. As of 2014, there are 63 seats in the Senate.

New Yorks 52nd State Senate district

New York's 52nd State Senate district is one of 63 districts in the New York State Senate. It has been represented by Republican Senator Fred Akshar since a 2015 special election to succeed retiring fellow Republican Thomas W. Libous.

Broome County, New York County in New York

Broome County in the U.S. state of New York, as of the 2010 United States Census, had a population of 200,600. Its county seat is Binghamton. The county was named for John Broome, the state's lieutenant governor when Broome County was created.

Contents

A Republican, Libous was first elected to the State Senate in 1988. He won a total of 14 terms in the Senate, eventually rising to the position of Deputy Majority Leader. An influential Albany dealmaker, Libous was notable for his advocacy for New York's Southern Tier. On July 22, 2015, Libous forfeited his Senate seat when he was found guilty of lying to the FBI. His conviction was vacated following his death.

Early life, education, and early career

Libous was president of his senior class at Johnson City High School. [1] At a young age, he worked at his family's grocery store in Binghamton. [2] Libous graduated from Broome Community College in 1973 and from the State University of New York at Utica in 1975, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and Finance with honors. [3] He worked on political campaigns for his uncle, Alfred Libous, who served as Mayor of Binghamton. [1]

Binghamton, New York City in New York, United States

Binghamton is a city in, and the county seat of, Broome County, New York, United States. It lies in the state's Southern Tier region near the Pennsylvania border, in a bowl-shaped valley at the confluence of the Susquehanna and Chenango Rivers. Binghamton is the principal city and cultural center of the Binghamton metropolitan area, home to a quarter million people. The population of the city itself, according to the 2010 census, is 47,376.

SUNY Broome Community College

SUNY Broome Community College is a public community college in Broome County, New York. It is part of the State University of New York (SUNY). The college was founded in 1946 and has gone through several name changes. The school is located in the Town of Dickinson, just north of the City of Binghamton, New York. The college had a 2010 enrollment of over 6,000 students and has alumni of over 41,000.

Libous, a Republican, was elected to the Binghamton City Council in 1983 and won re-election in 1987. [1]

New York State Senate career

After having served on the Binghamton City Council, [2] Libous was first elected to the New York State Senate in 1988. [4] Libous was re-elected 13 times. [5] He succeeded Senator Warren M. Anderson, who had served as Senate Majority Leader. [4]

Warren Mattice Anderson was an American lawyer and politician from New York. He was Temporary President and Majority Leader of the New York State Senate from 1973 to 1988.

Libous was a powerful presence in Albany, and was known for his advocacy for New York's Southern Tier. [1] [6] He was also known for his ability to work with members of both parties and for his strong working relationship with Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo. [2] In 2008, Libous rose to the position of Deputy Majority Leader. [1] In 2009, he played a major role in a parliamentary coup [7] when Republicans unsuccessfully attempted to take control of the Senate with the help of two dissident Democrats. [8] Also in 2009, he became chair of the Senate Republican Campaign Committee; in that capacity, he helped the Republicans retake the Senate majority the following year. [1] Libous voted against same-sex marriage legislation that passed in 2011 [9] [10] and also voted against the 2013 gun control law known as the New York SAFE Act. [6] Libous was an outspoken supporter of hydrofracking. [1]

Andrew Cuomo 56th Governor of New York

Andrew Mark Cuomo is an American politician, author, and lawyer serving as the 56th governor of New York since 2011. A member of the Democratic Party, he was elected to the same position his late father, Mario Cuomo, held for three terms.

2009 New York State Senate leadership crisis

The 2009 New York State Senate leadership crisis was a political dispute that prevented the New York State Senate from functioning for a month.

The Marriage Equality Act is a 2011 New York State law that allows gender-neutral marriages for both same- and opposite-sex couples, while prohibiting state and local courts and governments from penalizing religious and religious-supervised institutions, their employees, or clergy for refusing to sanctify or recognize marriages in contradiction with their religious doctrines, or for refusing to provide services and accommodations for such weddings. It was introduced to the New York State Assembly by Assemblyman Daniel O'Donnell. It was signed into law on June 24, 2011, and took effect on July 24, 2011.

In November 2014, despite having been indicted earlier in the year, Libous was re-elected for a fourteenth Senate term [5] and remained Deputy Majority Leader. [11] Libous forfeited his Senate seat when he was found guilty of lying to the FBI on July 22, 2015. [4] [12]

Community projects and programs

Libous helped provide funding for an ice rink at Broome Community College and an events center at Binghamton University. He also supported the Ottawa Senators' American Hockey League affiliate's 2002 move to Binghamton, facilitating the provision of funding for arena renovations on multiple occasions. [1]

In 1998, Libous founded the Student Community Service Awards (SCSA) through a partnership with WBNG-TV and Broome-Tioga BOCES. Each year, the SCSA program awarded scholarships to high school seniors based on community volunteer work. [13]

One of Libous's final acts as Senator was to secure over $4 million in grant funds to construct the new shared office for the Broome County Industrial Development Agency, Broome County Chamber of Commerce, and related groups. [14]

In 2012, Libous was highlighted in a corruption trial for his role in attempting to help his son, Matthew, receive a job at Santangelo, Randazzo & Mangone, a law firm in Westchester County. As a result, an investigation was started, [15] and on July 1, 2014, he was indicted on charges of lying to the FBI regarding the circumstances of his son's employment at the law firm. [16] [17]

Matthew Libous was charged with six counts of tax fraud in a related investigation. [18] [19] In January 2015, Matthew Libous was convicted on three counts of federal tax fraud by judge Vincent L. Briccetti of the Southern District of New York in a bench trial, [20] and in May 2015 he was sentenced to six months in prison. [21]

Thomas Libous was tried in July 2015. [22] On July 22, 2015, after approximately six hours of jury deliberations, Libous was convicted of one count of lying to the F.B.I.; because of the felony conviction, he forfeited his Senate seat. [23] On November 24, 2015, U.S. District Judge Vincent Briccetti sentenced him to six months of house arrest, two years of probation and a $50,000 fine. Libous was not sentenced to jail time due to his terminal cancer. [24] Libous appealed the conviction. On May 30, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit vacated his conviction and ordered the return of the fine to his estate because Libous had been appealing the conviction at the time of his death. [25] [26]

Personal life

Libous lived in Binghamton with his wife, Frances, who served as Vice Chair of the Workers Compensation Board. [27] The couple had two sons, Matthew and Nicholas. [2]

In 2009, Libous was diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer. [1] He underwent treatment while still serving as State Senator. In 2010, he founded "I Turned Pro" to encourage men over age 50 to talk to their doctors about the risks of prostate cancer. [28]

Libous died of cancer at a hospice facility in Endicott, New York, on May 3, 2016. [29] [30] His uncle, former Binghamton Mayor Al Libous, died in June 2016 at the age of 88. [31]

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Roby, John (May 3, 2016). "A TOWERING LEGACY: Thomas Libous dies at 63". PressConnects.com. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  2. 1 2 3 4 McKinley, Jesse (May 4, 2016). "Thomas Libous, Powerful New York Senator Felled by Scandal, Dies at 63" via NYTimes.com.
  3. "Senator Tom Libous". NY State Senate. February 15, 2010.
  4. 1 2 3 "Sen. Tom Libous found guilty". Pressconnects.com. July 23, 2015. Retrieved November 26, 2015.
  5. 1 2 Norris, Anna (November 5, 2014). "Libous secures 14th term as senator | WBNG-TV: News, Sports and Weather Binghamton, New York | Local". Wbng.com. Retrieved November 26, 2015.
  6. 1 2 "A TOWERING LEGACY: Thomas Libous dies at 63". Pressconnects.
  7. Karlin, Rick (March 24, 2017). "From 2009 Senate coup, Maziarz may be the last man standing". Times Union.
  8. "In New York, Senate "Coup" Takes Down Dems". www.cbsnews.com.
  9. Johnston, Garth. "FINALLY: NY State Senate Passes Gay Marriage". Gothamist.
  10. "Gov. Cuomo signs same-sex marriage bill". longisland.news12.com.
  11. "Libous Will Remain Deputy Leader". Nystateofpolitics.com. May 11, 2015. Retrieved November 26, 2015.
  12. Thomas Kaplan,Thomas Libous, New York State Senator, Is Convicted of Lying to F.B.I., New York Times , July 23, 2015.
  13. "Student Community Service Awards". WBNG News. Retrieved November 25, 2015.
  14. "Five South College Drive Opens as a One-Stop Economic and Business Development Center for Broome County".
  15. Hakim, Danny. "Ethics Panel Opens Inquiry Into No. 2 Leader in State Senate". The New York Times. Retrieved November 25, 2015.
  16. Rashbaum, William K.; Craig, Susanne; Kaplan, Thomas. "State Senator Libous Indicted on Charges of Lying to F.B.I." The New York Times. Retrieved November 25, 2015.
  17. "Indictment - United State of America vs. Thomas Libous" (PDF). justice.gov. United States Department of Justice. Retrieved August 28, 2016.
  18. Kaplan, Thomas; Rashbaum, William K. (July 2, 2014). "G.O.P. Power Broker in Albany Accused of Lying to F.B.I. - State Senator Thomas Libous Is Indicted on Federal Charges". New York Times. p. A1. Retrieved August 28, 2016.
  19. "Indictment - United States of America vs. Matthew Libous" (PDF). justice.gov. United States Department of Justice. Retrieved August 28, 2016.
  20. Fitzsimmons, Emma G. (January 27, 2015). "Son of Indicted New York State Senator Is Found Guilty in Tax Case". New York Times. Retrieved August 28, 2016.
  21. Kaplan, Thomas (May 19, 2015). "Son of Indicted New York State Senator Receives 6-Month Sentence". New York Times. p. A22. Retrieved August 28, 2016.
  22. Kaplan, Thomas (July 12, 2015). "Trial to Begin for Thomas Libous, New York Senator Whose Son Was Convicted". New York Times. p. A14. Retrieved August 28, 2016.
  23. Kaplan, Thomas (July 23, 2015). "Thomas Libous, New York State Senator, Is Convicted of Lying to F.B.I." New York Times. p. A20. Retrieved September 22, 2019.
  24. "Libous: 6 months house arrest, 2 years probation, $50K fine". Pressconnects.com. Retrieved November 26, 2015.
  25. "USA v. Libous".
  26. Campbell, Jon (May 30, 2017). "Ex-Sen. Tom Libous' Conviction Vacated, $50K Fine Overturned". Lohud.
  27. Vielkind, Jimmy. "Search warrant targets Frances Libous, wife of G.O.P. senator". Politico PRO.
  28. "Libous Undergoing Second Round of Chemotherapy". WICZ News. September 16, 2013. Retrieved November 25, 2015.
  29. McKinley, Jesse (May 4, 2016). "Former Binghamton Mayor Al Libous dies". New York Times . Retrieved July 18, 2016.
  30. http://www.wbng.com/news/local/Former-NYS-Senator-Tom-Libous-loses-battle-with-cancer-377979911.html
  31. Platsky, Jeff (June 30, 2016). "Former Binghamton Mayor Al Libous dies". Press & Sun-Bulletin . Retrieved July 18, 2016.
New York State Senate
Preceded by
Warren M. Anderson
New York State Senate
51st district

1989–2002
Succeeded by
James L. Seward
Preceded by
Randy Kuhl
New York State Senate
52nd district

2003–2015
Succeeded by
Fred Akshar