A New York lawmaker is in serious trouble today. Democrat Sheldon Silver, speaker of the New York State Assembly, was arrested by the FBI on federal corruption charges this afternoon.
Silver, who turned himself in on Thursday morning, is accused of receiving millions of dollars in kickbacks, according the complaint filed by the U.S. government:
Silver used the power and influence of his official position to obtain for himself millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks masked as legitimate income earned by Silver as a private lawyer. [Source]
The investigation revealed that Silver received more than six million dollars in payments from two other law firms and disguised them as completely legal payments for work that he did for the firms, but no such work existed.
Since 2002, Silver was supposedly employed by a law firm, Weitz and Luxenburg. The firm paid him a $120k base salary on top of millions of dollars in allegedly fake client referral fees. In reality, he was influencing policy to benefit that law office as well as a real estate firm.
Silver also allegedly lied on his financial disclosure forms that were sent to the state’s Ethics Committee. Not only did he disguise kickbacks as legitimate work on the forms, but he completely left out money that was received from the real estate firm.
According to the court filing his shady, corrupt dealings date back to the early 2000s.
Silver is the second longest speaker in New York history; he served for nearly two decades. I guess he was serving himself , not the people of his state.
It’s important that Democrats call out our own corrupt politicians, otherwise the Right can say that we only go after Republicans and then they become the exclusive victims of the “big bad Left”…and we become legitimate hypocrites.
The evidence against Silver is overwhelming. Investigators clearly worked very hard thoroughly make the case airtight against him.
It’s common knowledge that politicians benefit from kickbacks, but that doesn’t make it okay. It is arguably the biggest problem in politics today.
Silver is an embarrassment to our party and to the state of New York. We should be thankful to the FBI for uncovering his scummy, illegal behavior.
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