News10NBC asks: Can Collins' career survive this?

August 10, 2018 06:32 AM

We've seen some disgraced politicians survive accusations, negative press and even criminal charges while some others disappear from the public life and are never heard from again. What's the difference?

"We all make mistakes. There's no such thing as anybody who is perfect or who leads a perfect life," said Defense Attorney Edward Fiandach who's advised many high profile clients. "I think when we really make a mistake is when we don't acknowledge when we made a mistake." 

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New York has seen a slew of politicians fall from grace. Most recently, former Attorney General Eric Schneiderman resigned after allegations of abuse and sexual misconduct surfaced. 

Former Congressman Chris Lee, who once held the same seat as Collins before redistricting, resigned when shirtless pictures of him became public. 

Lee, who was married, was accused of emailing the pictures to an unnamed woman.

In 2010, former Corning Congressman Eric Massa stepped down from when he was accused of groping three staffers. 

"I think the best thing for someone in that position is to just throw yourself on your sword," added Fiandach. 

Fiandach is well known and highly successful. He has given that advice so many times, he's lost count.

He remembers a case similar to Rep. Collins' involving the late Congressman Frank Horton who served in this area for 30 years.

Fiandach's father knew him well. Horton was arrested for speeding and a DWI.

"He ultimately just walked into court, pled guilty, took some jail time, served seven or eight days. Then, next November he was re-elected, I think with 86-percent plurality," said Fiandach.

So, can Collins' career survive this?

"If I were in Chris Collins' position, what I would say right now is, 'look it's my son, my son was heavily invested in this. I made a terrible mistake. I let my family ties get ahead of my ethics'," he said.


Lynette Adams

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