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Monday, November 30, 2015
Jury Finds Former New York Speaker Guilty On All Counts
Former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver
A federal jury wasted little time deliberating in returning its verdict finding former New York House Speaker Sheldon Silver, one of the Empire State's most powerful politicians, guilty on seven counts of public corruption, including honest services fraud, extortion and money laundering. The charges stemmed from a scheme Silver contrived using his role as Assembly Speaker to obtain $4 million in payments to his law firm. The 71-year old automatically forfeits the seat he held in New York's Assembly for the past 40 years. The same federal prosecutor is also currently prosecuting a case against Silver's former Republican counterpart in the New York Senate, State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, who faces conspiracy, extortion and bribery charges in connection with the awarding of a $12 million contract to a company that hired his son. Both Silver and Skelos engaged in activities many prominent Indiana politicians engage as a matter of practice with impunity because our federal and state prosecutors decline to consider such activities to be crimes.