Publius alerted us to the news that New York’s former senate leader, Sheldon Silver was convicted this afternoon. Albany has been run as a corrupt fiefdom for decades, with the spoils divided between Silver for the Democrats and, most recently, Dean Skelos batting for the Republicans; the jury’s still out, literally, on Skelos, but he’s probably not going to be pleased with the result. All of the state’s governors played along and got rich during the process, but Andrew Cuomo’s in office now, and his are the freshest crimes. I’m looking forward to him being up next in the battered box.
Sheldon Silver, for decades one of the most powerful politicians in New York state, was convicted Monday of honest-services fraud, extortion and money laundering in a trial that is likely to reshape the business of Albany and embolden prosecutors with an appetite for public-corruption cases aimed at the Capitol.
The Democratic speaker of the New York state Assembly for more than 20 years, Mr. Silver was found guilty by a 12-person federal jury in Manhattan of four counts of honest-services fraud, two counts of extortion, and one count of money laundering.
His conviction triggers his automatic expulsion from the Legislature, where he has served since 1977.
The verdict brings a stunning end to the lengthy political career of Mr. Silver, 71 years old, who stood as one of the most powerful if inscrutable figures in Albany, presiding over a tightly controlled Democratic conference and earning a reputation as a masterful negotiator against the governor and other legislative leaders.
This will undoubtedly come as bad news to Hillary Clinton, who has called her friend Sheldon a “stalwart voice on behalf of the needs of New Yorkers.” It’ll be fun to see how quickly she runs away from her words and her friend.