It couldn’t happen to a more loathsome scumbag.
Federal authorities are expected to arrest Sheldon Silver, the powerful speaker of the New York State Assembly, on corruption charges on Thursday, people with knowledge of the matter said. The case is likely to throw Albany into disarray at the beginning of a new session.
The investigation that led to the expected charges against Mr. Silver, a Democrat from the Lower East Side of Manhattan who has served as speaker for more than two decades, began after Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in March abruptly shut down an anticorruption commission he had created in 2013.
Details of the specific charges to be brought against Mr. Silver were unclear on Wednesday night, but one of the people with knowledge of the matter said they stemmed from payments that Mr. Silver received from a small law firm that specializes in seeking reductions of New York City real estate taxes. The total amount of the payments was unclear, but another person has said they were substantial and were made over several years.
Mr. Silver failed to list the payments from the firm, Goldberg & Iryami, on his annual financial disclosure filings with the state, as required.
Expect zero coverage of this on the national news. You know what the feds should also be investigating? The mysterious shutdown of the Moreland Commission by Andrew Cuomo.
Several months ago, federal prosecutors in the office of Preet Bharara, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, subpoenaed documents from a personal injury firm that also paid Mr. Silver, income that he did disclose, one person with the knowledge of the matter said. Like others, he spoke on the condition of anonymity because the charges had not been announced.
Mr. Silver, 70, was in Albany on Wednesday, where he attended Mr. Cuomo’s State of the State address and had a prominent seat on stage next to the governor. It was unclear when and where Mr. Silver would be taken into custody.
Silver’s long made a career of raking in big bucks while Assembly Speaker, and since New York is largely a one-party state, nothing has been done.
He has also been criticized for his outside law practice, a lucrative career that supplements the $121,000 he earns as speaker.
In 2013, Mr. Silver earned at least $650,000 in legal income, including work for the personal injury law firm, Weitz & Luxenberg, according to his most recent financial disclosure filing.
But what he does to earn that income has long been a mystery in Albany, and Mr. Silver has refused to provide details about his work.