New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D) surrendered to federal authorities on corruption charges Thursday, yet another chapter in the scandal-plagued Albany legislature.
“I hope I’ll be vindicated,” he said Thursday as prosecutors seized almost $4 million from him.
Silver, a Lower East Side Democrat who’s been speaker for over 20 years, is accused by federal prosecutors of “using the power and influence of his official position to obtain for himself millions of dollars of bribes and kickbacks masked as legitimate income.”
Per the New York Times:
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 who orchestrated payments to the speaker for referrals to the firm.
The investigation intensified after Governor Andrew Cuomo shuttered an anti-corruption unit last year amidst budget negotiations with Silver:
Per complaint, Gov. Cuomo shut down Moreland Comm. in 3/14 as part of budget negotiations w/ Speaker Silver & staff pic.twitter.com/TtV5lgH3vI
— Brian Murphy (@Burrite) January 22, 2015
After news of the arrest at least one Democratic senator tweeted that Silver should resign, though whether he was referring to Silver’s leadership position or his seat was unclear:
Speaker Silver should resign for the good of the people of New York
— Senator Brad Hoylman (@bradhoylman) January 22, 2015
[h/t New York Times]
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