New York Times columnist Clyde Haberman says it was a banner year for crooked politicians in his city. He writes, "We in New York have reason to hold heads high. We showed over the past year that we remain a leader when it comes to political corruption." He says New York pols are meeting the "lofty standards of George Washington Plunkitt, the turn-of-the-last-century Tammany leader with a worldview that he neatly summed up this way: 'I seen my opportunities and I took ’em.'
New York politicians and associates indicted or convicted in 2012 include Pedro Espada Jr. of the Bronx, for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from his own health care network; Hiram Monserrate of Queens, for having misused $100,000 of taxpayer money for his political campaign; Richard J. Lipsky, a well-connected New York lobbyist for bribery; Joseph L. Bruno, the former State Senate majority leader, for taking bribes and kickbacks; Assemblyman William F. Boyland Jr. of Brooklyn, for bribery; Larry B. Seabrook, a Bronx city councilman, for orchestrating a corruption scheme, and Assemblyman Vito J. Lopez of Brooklyn, under investigation for alleged sexual harassment.