NEW YORK — A state senator pleaded not guilty on Monday to embezzlement and other charges alleging he tried to sabotage a federal fraud investigation of his law practice by seeking inside information from the US attorney’s office.
Senator John Sampson told an employee — since fired — that he wanted to identify cooperators in his case so he could arrange to ‘‘take them out,’’ prosecutors said.
The indictment says Sampson embezzled $440,000 from accounts under his supervision as a referee in foreclosures. It says some money was funneled into his losing 2005 campaign to be Brooklyn district attorney. Sampson, 47, was freed on $250,000 bond.
Carter, a former U.S. attorney in Brooklyn, told reporters outside the court that the case involved ‘‘ordinary charges’’ related to his private life as a lawyer, not ‘‘official corruption.’’
Governor Andrew Cuomo pointed to Sampson’s arrest as reason to pass his anticorruption proposals.