Scandal Rocks New York State Assembly

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From Reuters:

New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, one of the state’s most powerful Democrats for more than two decades, was charged on Thursday with fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud and other criminal counts after a lengthy corruption investigation, federal authorities said.

Silver, a lawyer whose tenure as speaker since 1994 has outlasted governors, mayors and many other politicians, has been under investigation by federal prosecutors in Manhattan and the FBI.

Silver, a political power broker who represents Manhattan’s Lower East Side, is known as one of Albany’s “Three Men in a Room,” along with the governor and Senate Majority Leader, who negotiate the state budget and key legislation. Silver has served in the Assembly since 1977.

Silver, 70, was accused of trying to conceal “corrupt sources” of outside income and using the power of his office to obtain millions in bribes and kickbacks.

Silver allegedly received more than $6 million in unjustified income from two law firms since 2002, according to the criminal complaint.

The case appeared to accelerate after federal authorities resurrected an investigation into corruption in Albany, the state capital. The  probe… (read more)

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