Biggest wriggling fish in the New York state legislature may finally be getting what’s coming to him:
Federal authorities are investigating substantial payments made to the State Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver, by a small law firm that seeks real estate tax reductions for commercial and residential properties in New York City, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
Prosecutors from the United States attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York and agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation have found that the law firm, Goldberg & Iryami, P.C., has paid Mr. Silver the sums over roughly a decade, but that he did not list that income on his financial disclosure forms, as required, the people said.
The prosecutors, from the office of the United States attorney, Preet Bharara, and the F.B.I. agents were seeking to determine precisely what Mr. Silver, a Manhattan Democrat, has been doing for the payments, the people said. Spokesmen for the F.B.I. and Mr. Bharara’s office declined to comment.
Silver represents everything that’s corrupt and evil about the current New York state government, which is almost entirely Democrat-run. Shades of old Tammany Hall!
Part-time work by legislators has long been a focus of federal investigators because corrupt lawmakers have used payments for ostensible part-time jobs or consulting work to mask political payoffs. It has also been a source of concern among government watchdog groups because of the potential for conflicts of interest.
The investigation into the Goldberg firm’s payments to Mr. Silver grew out of the work of the Moreland Commission, an anti-corruption panel created in 2013 and then abruptly shut down by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat. The commission’s investigation into lawmakers’ outside income was stymied when the legislators and their employers challenged the subpoenas in court.
Did somebody say “shut down by Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat“? You mean the scion of this family?
At the start of a police inquiry into the beating of Governor [Mario] Cuomo’s father-in-law three years ago , a detective took unorthodox steps that may have hampered the search for evidence, a review of Police Department records and interviews with investigators show.
The detective, Sebastian Pipitone, who serves as a bodyguard for the Governor, said that several hours after the attack and robbery of Mr. Cuomo’s father-in-law, Charles Raffa, he removed Mr. Raffa’s car from a police station house and had it washed. According to police records, the car had not been examined for possible fingerprints or other clues before it was washed.
The Governor, in interviews over the last month, has lashed out at rumors that he said were being spread concerning allegations of misconduct by his relatives. The smear campaign appeared to focus on his in-laws, he said.
But enough about the next forthcoming gubernatorial indictment for now. Back to Silver:
Mr. Silver, who has wielded enormous influence in Albany for the two decades in which he has served as speaker, is a personal injury lawyer. He is not known to have any expertise in the complex and highly specialized area of the law in which Goldberg & Iryami practices, known as tax certiorari, which involves challenging real estate tax assessments and seeking reductions from municipalities.
Like a number of state legislators, Mr. Silver’s income from his private law practice well exceeds his legislative salary, which as speaker totals $121,000. On his most recent financial disclosure form, he reported earning more than $650,000 from his outside legal work in 2013. But what he does to earn that money has long been shrouded in secrecy…
He has long listed the personal injury firm Weitz & Luxenberg on his financial disclosure forms. Still, almost nothing is known about the work he did for the firm during those years. State ethics laws do not require him to provide any details about what he does, who his clients are, or even if he has any clients at all.
All together now: a criminal organization masquerading as a political party. Where is this guy when we need him?