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Dean Skelos, citing coronavirus fears, seeks early release from prison

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Former State Senator Dean Skelos, of Rockville Centre, is seeking early release from federal prison due to concerns of the coronavirus pandemic, according to court papers.

Skelos, 72, filed a motion in federal court in Manhattan on Monday, asking to spend the remainder of his 51-month sentence in home confinement to lessen the risk of contracting the virus. Skelos still has more than two years left on his sentence for political corruption, which he began serving in January 2019 at Otisville Correctional Facility, in Orange County. The motion, filed under seal, was opposed by federal prosecutors in papers filed publicly on Tuesday, citing that an application for release should first be filed with the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, which can better assess his health situation.

The prosecutors noted that steps were being taken to stop the spread of the disease in federal prison, and said that, since Skelos lives in New York State, “the global epicenter of the coronavirus,” he has not provided any information to show that he would be better protected outside of prison. Judge Kimba Wood has not yet made a decision. Skelos' attorney could not be reached for comment.

Skelos was convicted in July 2018 of using his political power to secure approximately $300,000 in jobs and fees for his son Adam, also of Rockville Centre. They were each convicted on eight counts of conspiracy, extortion, and bribery. Adam Skelos was sentenced to four years in prison.