Longtime Bronx lawmaker Sen. Velella dies

(AP) - Republican officials say former New YorkSen. Guy Velella, a longtime Bronx GOP leader and state lawmaker,has died. He was 66.

Velella's career ended in 2004 with a guilty plea to aconspiracy charge in a bribery case. He was accused of taking atleast $137,000 in bribes from public works contractors and spentless than a year in jail.

An attorney who joined his father's law practice, Velella was anassemblyman for a decade, a senator for almost two decades and forseveral years chaired the Senate Insurance Committee.

Senate Republican Majority Leader Dean Skelos says Velella willbe remembered for his sense of humor and years of service toconstituents in the Bronx and Westchester County.

Velella had lung cancer. He died Thursday.

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