Sheldon Silver, Disgraced Ex-Assembly Speaker, Sentenced to 12 Years in Prison
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Sheldon Silver with the New York Rangers, December 2010
For Sheldon Silver, decades of corruption nets only a twelve year sentence in the slammer. The sentencing came down yesterday afternoon.
The 72-year-old Silver had been convicted back in November for honest services fraud, money laundering, and extortion. The verdict – netted after a five-week trial – ultimately resulted in the loss of his Assembly seat, which was just seized by his crony, Alice Cancel.
Despite the hard time, it was previously reported that Silver can keep his two Grand Street co-ops and home in upstate New York.
Herewith, an excerpt from the New York Times dispatch:
Judge Valerie E. Caproni of Federal District Court in Manhattan noted that even before Mr. Silver’s arrest, when some of his fellow legislators had been arrested on corruption charges, he remained undeterred. “One would think that the image of Mr. Silver’s colleagues being arrested and led off to jail would have caused someone who is basically honest to reappraise was going on,” Judge Caproni said.
Instead, she said, Mr. Silver “stopped nothing,” continuing to lie to his staff and to the press while holding himself out as “a paragon of virtue.”
Judge Caproni said that there had been an “incalculable harm to the people of New York,” and that the cumulative effect of public corruption “makes the public very cynical.” She then listed some of Mr. Silver’s misdeeds and addressed him directly: “Mr. Silver, those are not the actions of a basically honest person.”
In court, Carrie H. Cohen, an assistant United States attorney, had asked that Mr. Silver’s sentence “reflect the massive damage caused to the public by his crimes.”
The sentence, Ms. Cohen continued, should “send a message that this is not how business is done in Albany,” adding that “no one, including Sheldon Silver, is above the law.”
Mr. Silver briefly addressed the court before his sentence was delivered, saying he had let down his constituents, family and colleagues. “I’m truly, truly sorry for that,” he said.