Sheldon Silver stepped down as New York State Assembly Speaker earlier this year though he held on to his assembly seat after he was indicted on corruption charges. Silver faced four counts of honest services fraud, two of extortion, and one of money laundering. Some of his former co-conspirators ratted on him to save themselves. It only took the jury three days to find him guilty on all seven counts.
Under state law, Silver’s conviction automatically boots him from office and bars him from ever again holding any state position.
Silver faces 130 years in jail. He deserves every year. As a 71-year old, he could spend the rest of his life in jail. There will be appeals and it could be years before he lands in jail but he will go to jail if he doesn’t die of old age first. He violated his oath of office over and over and was running a regular crime organization.
For those of us who live in New York, his corrupt dealings are legendary. He is the Goliath of corrupt politics taken down by prosecutor Preet Bharara.
New York government in general is very corrupt but Sheldon is the big fish in a river full of piranhas. Former Senate leader Dean Skelos and his son, who are currently on trial, had better start worrying but more than them, Andrew Cuomo could be someone to look at. Governor Cuomo shut down the Moreland Commission investigating corruption when they got close to Sheldon Silver. Silver is close to Cuomo.
The first count against Silver was that he used his official position to obtain millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks masked as legitimate income earned by Silver as a private lawyer, the complaint read. They also have him on mail fraud.
Silver’s illegal deals required him to mask the illicit funds as legitimate income earned by Silver as a private lawyer. There were many with whom he conspired.
He received $6 million dollars since 2000 alone in corrupt fees, pretending he was receiving the fees for his services as an ambulance chaser.
He didn’t act as a lawyer in any case whatsoever, yet he made millions and he lied about it to prosecutors.
He was charged with accepting $700,000 in kickbacks from real estates developers he induced to use a particular firm who then paid him off.
The developers are giving big money to campaigns. One gave $10 million, of which $200,000 went to Silver and a political committee he controls.
Have you ever heard the law firm Weitz & Luxenberg advertise? They are always hunting down asbestos victims, real or imagined. He received $5.3 million from them, not because he did any work for them, but because he used his official office to enact corrupt schemes to their mutual benefit. One particularly lucrative scheme involved a Dr. Taub sending asbestos patients to the law firm in exchange for $500,000 in State funds and other benefits to the doctor and his family.
In 2013, the Moreland Commission was shut down by Cuomo to keep this information from being exposed.
Silver won his assembly seat in 1976 and won the speakership in 1994. He has had decades to corrupt the seat of government in New York. He’s ruled with an iron hand and has been feared. His corruption hit all pillars of New York society.
Silver is a multi-millionaire who earned $121,000 last year.
“Today, Sheldon Silver got justice, and at long last, so did the people of New York,” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a news release.
Far-left Slate has been upset, claiming Bharara tainted the jury pool with remarks he made about Silver, but truth be told, Silver did that on his own.
Two jurors tried to get out of serving last Tuesday shortly after deliberations began. One woman said jurors were bullying her and “making me feel very, very uncomfortable.”
“My heart is pounding and my head feels weird,” she wrote. “I don’t feel like I can be myself right now! I need to leave!”
She remained on the jury after the judge instructed the jury to be nice.
The three-week trial earlier wrapped up with Silver’s defense team calling no witnesses and Silver himself refusing to take the stand. In all, prosecutors had called 25 witnesses to prove their case, according to cbs local.
Read the complaint at The New York Times. This is just the tip of the iceberg in New York.
Weitz & Luxenberg needs to go down too. They’re the bankers of Sheldon Silver.