... one Republican official from Queens frisked a briber, who was actually an undercover F.B.I. agent, to make sure he wasn’t wearing a wire. Then failed to find the wire. Then took the bribe while being recorded. This all happened at a super-secret meeting at Sparks, the steakhouse where John Gotti had Paul Castellano rubbed out. I believe there should be an unwritten rule in criminal conspiracy that you do not schedule your big payoff at the most famous gangland murder site in Manhattan.
Prosecutors say Stevenson, the Bronx assemblyman, was also worried about whether he was being taped. He expressed those concerns to a co-conspirator who was actually doing the taping.“Most lawmakers in Congress do a lot of that stuff. They’re just more tactful in how they go about it,” said Melanie Sloan of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. She recalled the recent discovery that Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey had been using his influence to try to resolve a multimillion-dollar Medicare billing dispute for a Florida ophthalmologist whose company contributed more than $700,000 toward the election of Senate Democrats, Menendez included. The senator, who is nothing if not a skilled practitioner of business as usual, is shocked, wounded and dismayed that anyone would imagine a quid pro quo.
“At least he’s expensive,” Sloan said.