Sheldon Silver, the former State Assembly spokesman who became one of New York's most powerful politicians, was sentenced to seven years in prison on Friday for being convicted of corruption charges.
Mr. Silver, a Democrat from Manhattan's Lower East Side, has served as a speaker for over two decades, influencing almost every aspect of government policy. He was sentenced in May after a previous conviction on appeal was lifted.
Along with Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and Dean G. Skelos, the former Majority Leader of the Republican Senate, Mr. Silver was known as one of the "three men in a room" who controlled decisions in Albany. He also showed a remarkable Ability to ward off incursions by political rivals and investigators who inevitably appeared unbroken.
"Everything I've ever achieved Joke and a spectacle, "Mr. Silver wrote, 74, adding," I pray that I will not die in prison.
Mr Silver, after his first conviction, received a 12-year prison sentence, but the judge, Valerie E. Caproni, allowed him to remain free while appealing.A year ago, an Appellate Body of the State this condemnation, citing a 2016 US Supreme Court ruling that restricted the legal definition of corruption.
However, the appeals court pointed out that there was enough evidence to convict Mr. Silver re-sentenced in a two-week trial.
In the re-trial, prosecutors reiterated that Mr. Silver had received nearly $ 4 million in illegal payments for taking official action on behalf of a cancer researcher at Columbia University and two Real Estate Developer.
Mr Silver, one of four former civil servants convicted of corruption this year is the first of this group to be convicted.
This month, separate jurors have sentenced the former Senate Skelos Majority Leader, who was re-indicted for bribery and blackmail following his 2015 conviction; and Alain E. Kaloyeros, principal architect of Cuomo's unique economic development project to revitalize Upstate and West New York. He was convicted in a bid.
And in March Joseph Percoco, a former top adviser to Mr. Cuomo, was found guilty of taking more than $ 300,000 in bribes from executives at two state-owned enterprises. Mr. Cuomo was not accused of misconduct, but his political rivals have picked up the chain of cases as evidence of a corrupt culture in Albany, which they say the governor has made possible. The lawyer of the United States of America for the southern district of New York asked Judge Caproni last week To impose on Mr. Silver a "substantially higher penalty" of 10 years. Silver & # 39; s lawyers admitted in their own opinion that he should receive a "significant prison sentence," but they also suggested that he perform "rigorous" civilian service, such as running a special help desk to help New Yorkers To find their way through the state bureaucracy to answer their questions and maximize their chances of receiving benefits to which they may be entitled.
In the first plan, Mr. Silver arranged for the State Department of Health to grant Dr. Taub $ 500,000 in return for his contribution. index.html To refer the cancer patients with potentially lucrative legal claims to a law firm, Weitz & Luxenberg, which returned part of their fees to Mr. Silver.
In the other plan, Mr. Silver arranged two developers, Glenwood Management and the Witkoff Group, to send tax transactions to the law firm Goldberg & Iryami, which gave some of Mr. Silver's fees
Follow Benjamin Weiser on Twitter: @BenWeiserNYT
Zoe Green Berg contributed to the coverage.