NEW YORK (AP) — A former New York lawmaker accepted a $5,000 kickback from a contractor who hosted him at a Notre Dame football game and then lied about it to FBI agents involved in a widening corruption probe, federal prosecutors said Thursday.
Former Assemblyman Rob Walker was charged with obstruction of justice and making false statements. Walker, 43, pleaded not guilty in court Thursday and was released on $200,000 bond.
There was no immediate response to a request for comment from his lawyer.
The former Republican state assemblyman from Hicksville served as chief deputy to former Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano. Mangano, also a Republican, is scheduled to go on trial next month on bribery charges.
When Walker learned he was under investigation, he tried to convince the contractor to lie to a grand jury about the reasons for the payment, according to court papers. They say FBI agents were watching when he arranged a meeting with the contractor to give the money back.
“Thereafter, Walker, when interviewed by the FBI concerning the payment, made a number of false statements, including denying that he received any cash payments from the contractor,” the papers say.
While testifying at the 2015 corruption trial of a former New York state senator, Dean Skelos, and Skelos’ son, Adam, Walker acknowledged he was under investigation for allegedly steering contracts to campaign contributors.