Sheldon Silver

Former New York state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos
Karen DeWitt

Former New York state Senate Leader Dean Skelos and his son Adam saw their federal corruption convictions overturned by a federal appeals court panel Tuesday. Skelos is the second former legislative leader to win his case on appeal in the past two months, after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling revised the laws under which they were convicted.

Composite Image by Dave Lucas (WAMC)

Prosecutors have asked a federal judge to set a spring retrial date for ex-New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

Composite Image by Dave Lucas (WAMC)

Ex-New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver can ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review his case rather than go straight to a retrial.

A lawyer for former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver says the U.S. Supreme Court should look at his case after a federal appeals court tossed out his conviction and ordered a retrial.

On Thursday, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the corruption conviction of former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver – who was facing 12 years in prison after being convicted of taking $4 million in kickbacks. Prosecutors said the powerful Democrat used his powerful post to help a doctor and real estate developers. The court said the judge’s instructions on the theft of honest services law were unclear in light of the 2016 Supreme Court decision on ex-Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell. Blair Horner, executive director of the New York Public Interest Research Group, has long been a champion for ethics reform in the state legislature. He spoke with WAMC’s Ian Pickus about what the decision means for that effort. 

7/13/17 Panel

Jul 13, 2017

  The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today’s panelists are WAMC's Alan Chartock, Daily Freeman Publisher Emeritus Ira Fusfeld, and Communications Consultant Theresa Bourgeois.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

An ethics bill New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says will increase accountability and transparency was signed into law Wednesday. But good-government groups say the measure is just a band-aid on chronic corruption in Albany.

Composite Image by Dave Lucas (WAMC)

A judge says former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver can remain free until at least late October while he appeals his conviction and 12-year prison sentence.

Silver Sentenced To 12 Years In Prison

May 3, 2016

Former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was  sentenced to 12 years in prison and told by a federal judge that he must give back $5 million that he stole from the public, as well as pay another $1.75 million in fines.

Composite Image by Dave Lucas (WAMC)

Prosecutors have asked a judge to send former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to prison for over a decade while his defense lawyers say he deserves little or no time behind bars.

Sheldon Silver
Karen DeWitt

NEW YORK (AP) — In newly released documents, federal prosecutors say former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver abused his power to help two women, including a lobbyist, with whom he had extramarital affairs.

Office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

2015 saw the fall of two of the three most powerful people in state government, and the rise of one U.S. Attorney. 

The latest Siena College poll finds that most people agree with the corruption conviction of the state’s former longtime Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who was found guilty on seven counts two weeks ago.

Karen Dewitt. WAMC

The last time the state held a constitutional convention, Bobby Kennedy was Senator. That was in 1967.  The last time a constitutional convention met and voters actually ratified it’s result, was 75 years ago. It was in 1938, at the height of the great depression.

Blair Horner: The Former Speaker Is Convicted

Dec 7, 2015

When former Assembly Speaker Silver was convicted of corruption on all counts, there was also a second conviction: Albany’s way of conducting the public’s business.  From the court proceedings’ first days, it was clear that Albany’s ethics were also on trial.

Despite Trials, Little Talk Of Reform In Albany

Nov 18, 2015
Flickr/wadester16

The New York state legislature is seemingly back to business as usual, with majority parties holding planning meetings, and the new session set to begin right after the holidays. But as Karen DeWitt reports, there has been little public discussion about a corruption crisis that has led to the two most powerful men in the legislature both on trial in federal court this month.

Blair Horner: Albany On Trial

Nov 16, 2015

As the former New York State Senate Majority Leader goes to trial and his former counterpart Assembly Speaker is still in court, it has become clear that whatever the outcome, Albany’s ethics is on trial.

Former New York state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos
Karen DeWitt

For the second time in a month, one of New York State's biggest political figures is going on trial on corruption charges.

WAMC image by Dave Lucas

A new Siena College poll finds that while New York voters support efforts to rein in state government corruption, they're more concerned about whether lawmakers pass the budget on time.  Governor Andrew Cuomo has tied one to the other…   

51 percent of voters told Siena ethics reform would reduce government corruption. 44 percent think it will have little or no impact. The poll was released the same day former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was being arraigned on federal corruption charges; Silver’s arrest has prompted a new round of ethics debate in Albany.

Blair Horner: Albany's "Watergate" Moment

Feb 23, 2015


The recent indictment of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is simply the latest in a series of scandals involving the conflicts created by allowing sitting legislators to earn unlimited, unrestricted income from outside jobs.  But the controversy surrounding the former Speaker’s “moonlighting” is not the first time the issue has been raised.  The ability of sitting lawmakers to profit in any profession or business has been central to other recent scandals.  Here are some of the most high profile examples:

  

  New York’s political class was stunned by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s arrest.

In today’s Congressional Corner, New York representative Sean Patrick Maloney tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock the allegations are “personally offensive.”

Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney
Courtesy of the Office of Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney

New York Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney of the 18th district discussed the recent arrest of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver during a taping of WAMC's Congressional Corner on Wednesday.

Blair Horner: The Speaker Gets Arrested

Jan 26, 2015


Albany was rocked by a political earthquake last week with the arrest of Speaker of the Assembly Sheldon Silver.  The arrest stemmed from an investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s office and alleged the Speaker’s involvement in a vast kickback and corruption enterprise that spanned many years.  The Speaker denies the U.S. Attorney’s allegations and maintains his innocence.

Speaker Silver
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

U.S. Attorney Preet Bhara said Thursday that New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver traded his influence to amass millions of dollars in graft. Silver, a Manhattan Democrat who has run the Assembly for two decades, was arrested and faces up to 100 years in prison if convicted on all counts. At issue is Silver’s outside income as a lawyer, earned on top of his $121,000 salary as speaker. Over the years, Silver has been a frequent guest on WAMC’s Capitol Connection with Alan Chartock. The outside income issue came up during a 2010 show, recorded during negotiations over an ethics bill with then-Governor David Paterson.

1/23/15 Panel

Jan 23, 2015

  The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Newsman Ray Graf, and Times Union Associate Editor Mike Spain.

Topics include: Sheldon Silver Charged - Should He Step Down?, King Abdullah Dead, Patriots, turmoil in Yemen, Obama and Netanhayu will not meet.

wikipedia.org

Now that the New York State budget is done, the focus at the Capitol shifts to some other priorities, including whether to allow medical marijuana. Advocates came to the Capitol to lobby lawmakers, but the bill is getting bogged down over political skirmishes.

Still No Budget Deal In Albany

Mar 28, 2014
Andrew Cuomo

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders are still struggling to come to a final budget agreement after the time for an expected announcement came and went on Friday.

An Assemblyman from the Bronx has been convicted of corruption charges, meanwhile an Assemblyman from the Buffalo area resigned over accusations of sexual harassment.

On the first formal day of the legislative session, Assemblyman Eric Stevenson was convicted of bribery by a federal jury after he took $20,000 from adult day care developers in exchange for promising favorable legislation.  Under state law, Stevenson is automatically removed from office.  

Speaker Silver Urges Delay Of NY Student Database

Dec 20, 2013

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has sent a letter to New York Education Commissioner John King Jr. saying the department should hold off on transferring sensitive student information to a new statewide database.

The letter, also signed by nearly 50 Assembly Democrats, says the lawmakers were swayed by testimony about potential flaws in the plan to share data with Atlanta-based InBloom.

Opponents say it's too risky to store student data in servers in the so-called cloud, accessed through the Internet.

5/30/13 - Panel

May 30, 2013

  Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Editor of the Daily Gazette, Judy Patrick, and Times Union Capitol Reporter, Jimmy Vielkind. Ray Graf moderates.

Topics include:
Former Bush Official Said to Be Obama Pick to Lead F.B.I.
Holder Faces New Round of Criticism After Leak Inquiries
A Second Democrat Calls for Silver to Resign
CSEA attacks Cuomo tax-free zone plan
Saratoga racino expansion's inclusion of theater space
Cuomo's new tax free zones
The end of the NY legislative session
Gloversville ice cream trial

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