Albany Lawmakers Worried Everyone Is Wearing Wires

Albany, New York. Photo: Bloomberg/Getty Images

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara is pursuing several public corruption cases in New York, which has had a deleterious effect on gossip in Albany, according to The Wall Street Journal. Many state lawmakers are afraid that their colleagues might be informants. Bharara seems to be fine with stoking the fears; at a recent public event, he said, “If you want to wear a wire, come and talk to us.”

However, lawmakers wearing wires is not new in Albany, nor is general paranoia. Many legislators just assumed people have been listening to them forever. “I’m famous for wearing large lapel pins on my suit jacket each day, and for years I have badly joked: ‘Talk into the pin,’” Senator Liz Krueger, a Democrat from Manhattan told the Journal. She added, “I have always assumed pretty much everything I say or write is within the public domain. As to whether it is the NSA, prosecutors or the Russian Mafia keeping tabs, probably somebody has the tapes.”

After another corruption case in 2013, New York criminal defense attorney Jeffrey Hoffman told the Huffington Post that the fear of wiretaps did not seem to be doing much to dissuade illegal activity. “I am constantly stunned that it doesn’t stop it. Humanity is such that while people may have a concern, they don’t think it will happen to them. It happens over and over again. It doesn’t follow logic.”

NYS Lawmakers Worried Everyone Is Wearing Wires