Dear Commons Community,
CBS News and the Associated Press announced this evening that Former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was found guilty on all counts Monday afternoon in his federal trial on charges of bribery, extortion, and money laundering.
As CBS2’s Jessica Schneider reported, Silver was one of the most powerful men in Albany up until about a year ago – along with Gov. Andrew Cuomo and former Senate leader Dean Skelos, who together with Silver were sometimes called the “three men in a room.”
But at 4 p.m., Silver was convicted of receiving $5 million in improper fees from law firms for referrals. He showed no expression when the verdict was read, Schneider reported.
“Ultimately, I believe after we file the legal challenges, we’ll have a different result,” Silver said.
Silver walked out of court just before 6 p.m. He only said that he was disappointed, and that he will fight the verdict on appeal with his attorneys.
He now faces up to 130 years in prison….
In another Manhattan federal courtroom, the corruption trial resumed for former state Senate leader Skelos. Jurors in that trial are still hearing evidence related to charges that he engaged in extortion and solicited bribes to provide hundreds of thousands of dollars for his son, who is his co-defendant. Both have pleaded not guilty.”
It is a shame that political leadership of New York has been so dishonored. Silver’s conviction hopefully will begin a process to restore confidence in the NYS system of government.