State Senator Velella visits Mount Vernon, vows victory in court
It's been more than four months since State Senator Guy Velella (R) was accused of bribery and conspiracy. Now, Velella is vowing victory in court and promising to continue doing the people's business.On Tuesday, Velella paid a visit to the Milestone School in Mount Vernon, where students showered the senator with cards and gifts as he toured the building. The school dedicated the day to him for helping to get classes up and running following a 5,500-gallon oil spill at the school in January.Currently, the eight-term senator is in the process of fighting criminal charges. In May, Velella pleaded not guilty to charges of bribery and conspiracy in Manhattan. The senator and his father are accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in exchange for Velella's political influence. Velella, who represents much of lower Westchester and the Bronx, allegedly helped a Bronx company secure bridge painting contracts in New York City.Last week, a judge denied Velella's request to have the charges thrown out based on questions of jurisdiction. Velella says he will continue to try to get the charges dismissed, but if the case should go to trial, he says he's confident he will be exonerated. Velella expects any trial to start in March or April.If convicted of the charges, Senator Velella could face up to 15 years in prison.