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Ex-NY Assembly Speaker Gets 7 Years In Prison

Sheldon Silver
Karen DeWitt
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Sheldon Silver

The former Speaker of the New York State Assembly, Sheldon Silver, was sentenced to seven years in prison Friday, after being convicted for a second time on federal corruption charges.

Silver was found guilty earlier this year of using the power of his office to illegally gain more than $4 million in kickbacks and bribes.             

Silver, from Manhattan’s Lower East Side, was the second longest tenured Assembly Speaker in state history, and wielded vast influence and power, before having to resign when he was indicted in 2015.

The judge rejected a request from Silver’s attorneys that, instead of jail time, he should serve on a help desk for New Yorkers trying to navigate the state’s complex bureaucracy. 

The sentencing comes just one week after another former majority party legislative leader, former Senator Dean Skelos, was found guilty of using his influence to secure no show jobs for his son. Skelos' son, Adam, was also convicted. Skelos will be sentenced in late October.

And it’s been just over two weeks since the former architect of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s biggest upstate economic development programs was found guilty of bid rigging, along with three upstate developers.

Dr. Alain Kaloyeros will be sentenced in the fall. Also facing prison time – Governor Cuomo’s former closest aid, Joe Percoco, who will be sentenced on his bribery conviction in September.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of public radio stations in New York state. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.
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