Childhood friendship put to test in public corruption case

AP News
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Posted: Jul 10, 2015 12:59 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — Jurors at the corruption trial of a New York state senator have heard testimony by a life-long friend who says the politician wanted him to leak information to him about the investigation.

Government paralegal Samuel Noel told Brooklyn jurors on Thursday that he felt he had no choice but to help when Sen. John Sampson asked him to identify cooperating witnesses.

Noel said he checked a confidential database and came up empty. He agreed to testify against Sampson after investigators uncovered his role.

Prosecutors say Sampson's attempts to exploit the friendship showed how far he would go to avoid getting caught for embezzlement. The senator has denied witness tampering and obstruction charges.

Closing arguments are expected next week.