New York's Dem Assembly Speaker Arrested on Federal Corruption Charge

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan / AP
January 22, 2015

Sheldon Silver, the longtime Democratic speaker of the New York State Assembly, was arrested by federal authorities on Thursday, according to the New York Times.

The charges stemmed from Silver's failure to disclose substantial payments he was receiving from a firm that specializes in getting reductions to New York City real estate taxes, according to the report. 

The investigation of Mr. Silver began after Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in March abruptly shut down an anticorruption commission he had created in 2013.

The federal inquiry, led by the United States Attorney for the Southern District, focused on payments that Mr. Silver received from a small law firm that specializes in seeking reductions of New York City real estate taxes.

While it is legal for lawmakers to hold outside jobs, investigators said Mr. Silver failed to list the payments from the firm, Goldberg & Iryami, on his annual financial disclosure filings with the state.

Silver represents Manhattan's Lower East Side and has been a member of the legislature for nearly four decades. According to state law, Silver is able to retain his seat even after his arrest. Should he be convicted of any felony charges, he will be removed.

The investigation into Silver was led by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who thus far has not commented on the arrest.