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Sheldon Silver, Ex-NY Assembly Speaker, Indicted on Federal Charges of Fraud and Extortion

Image: Sheldon Silver, Ex-NY Assembly Speaker, Indicted on Federal Charges of Fraud and Extortion
New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 20 Feb 2015 12:22 PM

Sheldon Silver, the former New York Assembly Speaker, was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury on three fraud and extortion charges following his arrest last month by the FBI that forced his resignation.

As Politico reported, the indictment said that the 70-year-old Manhattan Democrat "engaged in a secret and corrupt scheme to deprive the citizens of the state of his honest services as an elected legislator."

Silver, who had served as Speaker since 1994, is accused by federal authorities of earning $5.3 million from private law firm Weitz & Luxenberg even though he never performed legal work for the company. Income of this type is likely a bribe or a kickback, federal authorities are likely to argue.

An arraignment set for Tuesday will require Silver to enter a plea, and, based on statements from Silver's lawyers, it appears he will fight the charges.

"Our client is not guilty. We can now begin to fight for his total vindication. We intend to do that fighting where it should be done — in court," said attorneys Joel Cohen and Steve Molo in a statement following the indictment. The former speaker has also stated previously that he intends to keep his seat, even if he's no longer Speaker.

According to The Associated Press, "Some 28 New York legislators have stepped down because of criminal or ethical issues in the past 15 years. Four others remain in office while they fight charges, including Silver."

The federal investigation into New York's political establishment began after Gov. Andrew Cuomo halted his own anti-corruption probe, the Moreland Commission.

Sheldon Silver Indictment by Gabby



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Sheldon Silver, the former New York Assembly Speaker, was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury on three fraud and extortion charges following his arrest last month by the FBI that forced his resignation.
sheldon silver, ny, assembly, speaker, indicted
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2015-22-20
Friday, 20 Feb 2015 12:22 PM
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