NEW YORK (AP) — Former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a backroom master whose name was synonymous with political power in New York for a generation, was sentenced Tuesday to 12 years in prison, destined to take his place atop the state’s crowded lineup of crooked politicians behind bars.
Silver, a 72-year-old Manhattan Democrat, lowered his head slightly and closed his eyes briefly as a stern U.S. Judge Valerie Caproni announced his fate.
Essentially, a life sentence at his age. That’s a stiff penalty, but it seems deserved.
“I hope the sentence I impose upon you will make other politicians think twice until their better angels take over — or, if there are no better angels, perhaps the fear of living out his golden years in an orange jumpsuit,” said Caproni, who also ordered Silver to forfeit $5.3 million and pay a $1.75 million fine.
Silver’s former state Senate counterpart, Republican ex-Majority Leader Dean Skelos, is due to be sentenced later this month on his own corruption conviction. Skelos was found guilty, at a separate trial, of using his position to arrange payments and a job for his son.
Equal opportunity corruption.
If I were the Governor of the state or the Mayor of New York City, I’d start being very nervous about now.
Silver told the judge Tuesday he had let down his family, colleagues and constituents.
“I’m truly, truly sorry for that,” he said.
I wonder if he means committing the crimes or getting caught committing the crimes?
Bharara also is investigating Cuomo’s office, looking into potential conflicts of interest and improper bidding in a signature state economic development program in Buffalo. The prosecutor also is examining consulting work done by one of Cuomo’s former top aides in 2014, when the aide spent eight months on leave. In response, Cuomo’s administration is conducting an internal review.
See what I mean about the Governor being nervous?
These folks are a compelling argument for imposing term limits and restrictions on former politicians doing business with or lobbying the government. There should be no such thing as a “career politician”. Which in these cases equates to “career criminal”.