Thursday, January 22, 2015

[UPDATED] Assembly Speaker Silver arrested, faces corruption charges

Posted By on Thu, Jan 22, 2015 at 9:53 AM

UPDATE 3:45 p.m. — The office of the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York has released the complaint against Silver. It's attached bottom of this post.

Details are still coming in, but reports are that the FBI has Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver in custody, most likely on corruption-related charges

The New York Times reports that Silver turned himself in this morning at the FBI's Manhattan office. "I hope I'll be vindicated," he told the paper.

The Times says that the federal investigation into Silver, which was led by the office of US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, began after Governor Andrew Cuomo abruptly shut down his Moreland Commission on public corruption. The investigation, centered on payments made to Silver from a law firm that specializes in getting New York City property taxes reduced, the Times says. 

The US Attorney's Office has scheduled a 1 p.m. press conference regarding the charges against Silver.

Silver's critics have long questioned the outside income that the speaker receives for legal work. He's reported the income, but has resisted all requests to identify who's paying him, citing attorney-client privilege; he's not the only state legislator moonlighting in the legal field to resist disclosing his employer or employers.

The situation is sure to cause some disorder in the Assembly, and it will probably fall to Majority Leader Joe Morelle to run the floor for the time being. But any longer-term changes depend on whether Silver resigns, whether he steps down as speaker, or whether he's forced out of the position.


NYGOP: Silver must resign from the Assembly immediately

The NYGOP today released the following statement in response to federal authorities' arrest of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver on corruption charges:

"Sheldon Silver must immediately resign from the State Assembly," said NYGOP spokesman David Laska. "While this is another sad day for New York, we cannot be distracted from the important business of growing our economy and creating jobs."

US v. Sheldon Silver Complaint

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