Notable New York Democrat Sheldon Silver Sentenced To Six-Plus Years For Corruption Scheme – ‘I Don’t Want To Die In Prison’

Former New York Speaker of the House Sheldon Silver, 76, was sentenced to six years in federal prison stemming from corruption scheme charges for which he was convicted after two trials spanning several years.

Mr. Silver tarnished his oath, betrayed trust, and abused enormous power considering it became known that he and others resorted to a corruption scheme involving millions in kickbacks for political favor.

A member of the New York Assembly for decades, Silver was described by the New York Post as a “powerbroker.” In an ironic way, that label seems wholly applicable: Silver possessed enormous power and he brokered deals and pocketed money, wittingly breaking the law.

Presiding over the case, U.S. District Court Judge Valerie Caproni ordered Silver to appear “personally” after his defense counsel team argued for virtual attendance, given the coronavirus restrictions and increased threat to aged folks like the defendant.

In person, Silver listened as Judge Caproni meted out justice. “This was corruption pure and simple,” Judge Caproni pointedly conveyed to Silver, sentencing him to six and one-half years in federal custody and a whopping $1 million fine–one quarter of the roughly $4 million in bribe he received from two separate corruption schemes having to do with a few real estate developers offering money in exchange for favorable contracts. Silver was in a position to wave his House Speaker wand and make it so.

One of a trio of judges who heard arguments in a prior trial centered on Silver as defendant summed Silver’s corruption. “The Real Estate Scheme presents a significantly different factual scenario that more closely resembles classic bribery‐based crimes,” Judge Richard Wesley wrote into the record, per the New York Post.

For his crimes and address to the court, Silver offered, “I was so angry with myself and still am. But now that anger has mainly turned to sadness. My use of my office for personal gain was improper, selfish and ethically indefensible.”

Now that all parties understand each other and Silver comes to terms with the stark reality he created, namely a stint in prison, his decades-long role as a noted powerful figure in the New York State capitol of Albany where he served as House Speak ends with time in a prison cell.

Once heralded as “the most powerful politician in Albany,” Silver, also a lawyer at Weitz & Luxenberg, was ultimately “twice convicted by a jury on all counts related to corrupt kickback schemes he ran while in office,” the Post explained.

A New York Times report indicated what some may describe as a last-ditch attempt to save his hide. Silver reportedly sent the judge a letter prior to sentencing, emphasizing the potential of contracting COVID during a federal prison stint—he requested house arrest. It was denied, despite his words in the letter, as follows: “Your Honor, I do not want to die in prison.”

According to Benjamin Weiser and Jesse McKinley, “Mr. Silver, a Democrat from Manhattan’s Lower East Side, served more than two decades as speaker, wielding extraordinary influence in state politics and developing a reputation for brushing off threats and challenges, whether from political rivals or prosecutors.” Today, that reign is over.

This piece was written by Stephen Owsinski on July 20, 2020. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

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Chicago cops punch 18-year-old black protester in the face, knock out her teeth at riot over Christopher Columbus statue


View Comments

  • How the privileged criminals scream when caught out for their crimes. At least he will do his time with a friend or two where he is going. Just don't be the first to bend over to pick up the soap in the showers.

  • It's the same scenario isn't it. Do the crime, spend the money, have a good time. And then, you get caught. All of a sudden, you're sorry for what you did. Your regrets come with tears and requests to stay out of jail cause you don't want to die there. You didn't die doing the crime, I'm sure you'll be ok.

  • I know it isn't much but she did not get to be President like she wanted. I guess that is a small amount of justice.

  • Trump has had to fight these snakes since even before he took the oath of office. He doesn't even take a salary so he obviously doesn't do it for the money. Can't say the same for his likely self-serving opponent whose elevator seems to get stuck between floors.

  • I hope Comey cries like a little girl whose American Girl doll was taken away while he’s being fitted for his orange jumpsuit.

  • But, it was okay for Roger Stone and Paul Manafort, to die in jail. Paul Manafort is still in jail. But this guy doesn’t want to die in jail. So, why give him a break, he actually did commit a crime!

  • These "pretend" Republicans have done untold damage. There are so many RINO's
    that I no longer renew membership in what used to be a clearly defined Republican
    Party. To have Donald Trump as our President has been the best thing this divided
    country could be given. Our first "black" president took racial division to new heights.
    (And he isn't even truly "black," being 50% white on his mother's side, a part of him
    he has consistently downplayed. His "black" side is actually more Arab, also.) I'm
    wondering when we'll have a candidate looking to be our first transgender, atheist,
    multi-racial, ex-convict, foreign-born President. Such a candidate would, of course,
    run on the Democrat ticket. Or maybe those RINO's would claim it/her/him...

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