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Thread: Sheldon Silver, New York Assembly Leader, Is Arrested on Graft Charges

  1. #1

    Default Sheldon Silver, New York Assembly Leader, Is Arrested on Graft Charges

    Sheldon Silver, New York Assembly Leader, Is Arrested on Graft Charges

    By WILLIAM K. RASHBAUM and THOMAS KAPLANJAN. 22, 2015


    Sheldon Silver, the speaker of the New York State Assembly, left the courthouse on Thursday in Manhattan.
    Credit Sam Hodgson for The New York Times




    Sheldon Silver, the speaker of the New York Assembly, exploited his
    position as one of the most powerful politicians in the state to obtain
    millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks, federal authorities said on
    Thursday as they announced his arrest on a sweeping series of corruption
    charges
    .

    For years, Mr. Silver has earned a lucrative income outside government,
    asserting that he was a simple personal injury lawyer who represented
    ordinary people. But federal prosecutors said his purported law practice
    was a fiction, one he created to mask about $4 million in payoffs that he
    carefully and stealthily engineered for over a decade.

    Mr. Silver, a Democrat from the Lower East Side of Manhattan, was accused
    of steering real estate developers to a law firm that paid him kickbacks.
    He was also accused of funneling state grants to a doctor who referred
    asbestos claims to a second law firm that employed Mr. Silver and paid him
    fees for referring clients.

    “For many years, New Yorkers have asked the question: How could Speaker Silver,
    one of the most powerful men in all of New York, earn millions of dollars in outside
    income without deeply compromising his ability to honestly serve his constituents?”
    Preet Bharara, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York,
    asked at a news conference with F.B.I. officials. “Today, we provide the answer:
    He didn’t.”


    The investigation of Mr. Silver, right, picked up speed after Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in March abruptly shut down an
    anticorruption commission. Credit Nathaniel Brooks for The New York Times


    The arrest of Mr. Silver, 70, immediately upended state government,
    throwing the capital into convulsions just as this year’s legislative
    session gets underway. The speaker since 1994, he has long been
    the most powerful Democrat in the Legislature, and he was expected
    to play a large role in the coming weeks as lawmakers tussle with
    Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo over the budget and contentious proposals
    regarding public schooling and criminal justice.

    It also cast new attention on Mr. Cuomo’s decision to shut down the
    Moreland Commission
    , an anticorruption panel that he appointed in
    July 2013 but abruptly ended last March. On Thursday, lawmakers
    and lobbyists confronted what had previously seemed like an
    unfathomable prospect: The Legislature’s most immovable and
    unassailable leader, who has weathered repeated scandals and
    outlasted Democrats and Republicans alike, had become the latest
    in an embarrassing march of Albany lawmakers accused of corruption.


    full story:http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/23/ny...case.html?_r=0


  2. #2

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    can a mod pleas merge - or remove (MY BAD...didn't see the other thread) thank you.

  3. #3
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    Many years too late, good riddance to king a**hole

  4. #4
    Forum Veteran TREPYE's Avatar
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    I remember thinking when he put the kibosh on the West Side Stadium.... It will be a matter of time before this knave gets pinched.

  5. #5

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    I'm shocked, shocked to find that corruption is going on in here!

    Please. What a first class hack.

    I wonder what took them so long.

    Trepye - I had the same thought. Good riddance.

  6. #6

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    Oops. There goes Cuomo's presidency bid.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eddhead View Post
    I'm shocked, shocked to find that corruption is going on in here!
    I believe that corruption is a required skillset on the New York politican application form.


    Of course now this all makes sense, how the Moreland commssion was abruptly disbanded. Sheldon muscled Cuomo into killing it because it was getting too close to his golden goose. The commission clearly needs to be re-launched to see what other skeletons are in the legislative closets.

    This pig ****er Silver was also always the first to mercilessly hammer other politicians with scandals like Eliott Spitzer. Now he's going to find it a cold and lonely world. You know what they say, watch how you treat people going up because you'll get the same in return on your way down

  8. #8

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    Sheldon Silver, Ex-New York Assembly Speaker, Is Found Guilty on All Counts


    By BENJAMIN WEISER and SUSANNE CRAIGNOV. 30, 2015

    Assemblyman Sheldon Silver, a Democrat who was the longtime speaker, arriving at federal court
    in Lower Manhattan on Monday morning. Later in the day, a jury found him guilty on all counts in
    a corruption trial. Credit Robert Stolarik for The New York Times


    Sheldon Silver, an assemblyman who rose from the Lower East Side of Manhattan to become one of New York State’s most powerful politicians, was found guilty on Monday in a federal corruption trial, ending a case that was the capstone of the government’s efforts to expose the seamy culture of influence peddling in Albany.



    Mr. Silver, 71, a Democrat who served more than two decades as the Assembly speaker before he was forced to resign after his arrest in January, will automatically forfeit the Assembly seat to which he was first elected nearly 40 years ago.

    The jury’s verdict came in the fifth week of Mr. Silver’s trial in Federal District Court in Manhattan, in which he faced seven counts of honest services fraud, extortion and money laundering. He was convicted on all counts.

    Mr. Silver is the most prominent of a string of state lawmakers who have been convicted by prosecutors with the office of Preet Bharara, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York. At the time of Mr. Silver’s arrest, Mr. Bharara said that the charges against him made it clear that “the show-me-the-money culture of Albany has been perpetuated and promoted at the very top of the political food chain.”

    His conviction comes as Mr. Bharara’s office is trying his former counterpart, State Senator Dean G. Skelos, who stepped down as the Senate majority leader after his arrest in May on federal corruption charges.

    For portions of his 20 years as speaker, Mr. Silver maintained a viselike grip on power, withstanding the rare challenge from a well-intentioned but unsupported Democratic colleague, and brushing off all criticism of his performance. Mr. Silver was faulted for his handling of two sexual harassment allegations; in 2013, a state ethics report criticized him for covering up accusations of sexual harassment against Assemblyman Vito J. Lopez.

    Mr. Silver also loomed large in financial disclosure reports that were required under a new state ethics law, reporting hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in outside income from a law firm, Weitz & Luxenberg. That arrangement would become one of the focal points of the government’s prosecution.

    At Mr. Silver’s trial, the government presented evidence that prosecutors said showed he had orchestrated two schemes through which he obtained nearly $4 million in illegal payments for taking official actions that benefited a prominent cancer researcher, Dr. Robert N. Taub, at Columbia University, and two New York real estate development firms.

    Testimony and other evidence showed that Mr. Silver had arranged to have the New York State Health Department make two grants totaling $500,000 to Dr. Taub, whose research focused on mesothelioma, a deadly form of cancer related to asbestos exposure.

    In return, Dr. Taub sent mesothelioma patients with potentially lucrative legal claims to Weitz & Luxenberg, which then shared a portion of its fees with Mr. Silver.

    In the other scheme, prosecutors charged, Mr. Silver had the two developers, Glenwood Management and the Witkoff Group, move certain tax business to a law firm, Goldberg & Iryami, that secretly shared its fees with Mr. Silver.

    In return, the speaker lent his support to critical rent legislation backed by Glenwood, in particular, and met with the company’s lobbyists.

    Mr. Silver attended each day of his trial, often wearing pinstripe suits. For the most part he sat quietly, but occasionally chatted with his lawyers, or made notes for their review. He did not testify in his defense, and his lawyers did not call any witnesses.

    Mr. Silver’s lawyers argued that in charging him, Mr. Bharara’s office had sought to criminalize the kinds of activity in which state legislators routinely engaged.

    “They look at conduct which is legal,” one defense lawyer, Steven F. Molo, told the jury in his opening statement, “conduct which is normal, conduct which allows government to function consistent with the way that our founding fathers of the state of New York wanted it to function, and they say this is illegal.”

    A federal prosecutor, Howard S. Master, in a summation, cited what he called the “core principle” that “this nation shall be governed by the people and for the people.”

    Mr. Silver “governed using a different model,” Mr. Master said. “It wasn’t by the people or for the people. It was by Sheldon Silver for Sheldon Silver.”

    The speaker used his office to “dispense benefits to people who were paying him in quid pro quo relationship,” Mr. Master added. “He used that power and that money to line his pockets.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/01/ny...smtyp=cur&_r=0

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    Don't drop the soap

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