The Number Two Man in the political establishment of New York State is charged with mail fraud, wire fraud and extortion in a five-count Federal indictment
Republicans and Democrats call on Speaker Silver to step down
Locally, Brooklyn State Senator Marty Golden faces a Federal investigation for many similar matters to those faced by Speaker Silver
The New York Times and several other news outlets are reporting that Sheldon Silver, Speaker of the Assembly and one of the top Democrats in New York State, is being arrested on corruption charges. “In a five-count criminal complaint outlining the charges, Mr. Silver is accused 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’....” (See “Sheldon Silver, Speaker of New York Assembly, Is Arrested in Corruption Case by William K.Rashbaum, Thomas Kaplan and Susannee Craigian, 1/22/15, NY Times/ NY Region [http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/23/nyregion/speaker-of-new-york-assembly-sheldon-silver-is-arrested-in-corruption-case.html?_r=0]).
According to the report in the Times, “The powerful 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 to solicit millions in bribes and kickbacks, according to court documents. *** The arrest of Mr. Silver, a Democrat from the Lower East Side of Manhattan who has served as speaker for more than two decades, sent shock waves through the political establishment and upending the new legislative session. *** Mr. Silver surrendered to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents early Thursday morning in Lower Manhattan, law enforcement officials said....”
SEIZURE OF ASSETSFederal prosecutors have seized approximately $3.8 million of Mr. Silver’s money; and Preet Bharara, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, is expected to provide more details about the charges and other matters at a 1 p.m. news conference today.
REPUBLICANS CALL ON SILVER TO STEP DOWN IMMEDIATELY — BUT AT THE SAME TIME, THEY IGNORE SIMILAR MISDEEDS BY FELLOW REPUBLICANSAccording to the New York Post, “The speaker’s arrest sent political shockwaves from Albany to New York City. *** ‘He needs to step down as speaker while the justice process takes its course,’ said Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-Staten Island [and part of Brooklyn]) *** The state Republican party wants Silver out of the Assembly now. *** ‘Sheldon Silver must immediately resign from the State Assembly,’ said NYGOP spokesman David Laska....” (See “Sheldon Silver arrested, accused of taking millions in bribes” by David K. Li, 1/22/15, NY Post/ Metro [http://nypost.com/2015/01/22/sheldon-silver-arrested/]). However, neither of those Republicans acknowledged or even seemed aware that Federal Prosecutor Preet Bharara’s office is also investigating various similar activities of prominent Republicans like NYS Senator Martin Golden, whose district overlaps with that of Ms. Malliotakis.
Meanwhile, a Democrat spokesperson said that both Speaker Silver and Republican State Senate boss Dean Skelos have allowed similar activities to flourish on both sides of the aisle.
THE MARTY GOLDEN CONNECTIONAs has been often reported on this blog, the investigation of Mr. Silver picked up speed as a Federal probe after Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo abruptly shut down his own anti-corruption commission investigation in March of 2014.
Brooklyn Republican State Senator Martin Golden is right now involved in a similar Federal corruption probe that also grew out of Cuomo’s shut-down of his anti-corruption commission. Like the investigation that led to the charges against Speaker Silver, the probe of Marty Golden appears to be focused on money coming from large real estate developers. Also both Golden and Silver appear to have been instrumental in getting large tax breaks for those big developers.