Friday, January 23, 2015

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

NY Times    The speaker of the New York State Assembly, Sheldon Silver, was arrested on federal corruption charges on Thursday and accused of using the power of his office for more than a decade to secure millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks and then covering up his schemes, according to court documents.

Mr. Silver, a Democrat from the Lower East Side of Manhattan who has served as speaker for more than two decades, is accused of a range of corrupt dealings that capitalized on his official position. They include using his position to obtain corrupt payments misrepresented as referral fees from a law firm, funneling state research funds and other benefits to a doctor who in return referred asbestos claims to the law firm where the speaker worked, and secretly helping real estate developers win tax breaks.

In recent years, a steady parade of lawmakers in Albany have been charged with corruption, and the complaint against Mr. Silver outlines a capital culture rife with back-room dealing, where money and influence shape public policy for the benefit of private agendas. [...]

The complaint maintains that for more than a decade, Mr. Silver devised a scheme “to induce real estate developers with business before the state” to use a real estate law firm controlled by a lawyer who had once worked as Mr. Silver’s counsel. That lawyer, according to the complaint, orchestrated payments to the speaker for referrals to the firm.

The complaint, referring to the personal injury firm, Weitz & Luxenberg, also said that “there is probable cause to believe that Silver received approximately $4 million in payments characterized as attorney referral fees solely through the corrupt use of his official position.” [...]


  1. I'm shocked! Shocked! A politician using his job to get referrals. Why, attorneys do this all the time, violating their fiduciary duties. Why should a politician be any different?

  2. "This happened because f what he learnt in MO school of thought". Etc. etc.

    Oh, oops. These types of comments would be reserved only if he was Chareidi.

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