January 22, 2015

Money and influence shape public policy for the benefit of private agendas

The speaker of the New York State Assembly, Sheldon Silver, was arrested on federal corruption charges on Thursday and accused of using the power of his office for more than a decade to secure millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks and then covering up his schemes, according to court documents.

In recent years, a steady parade of lawmakers in Albany have been charged with corruption, and the complaint against Mr. Silver outlines a capital culture rife with back-room dealing, where money and influence shape public policy for the benefit of private agendas.
“For many years, New Yorkers have asked the question — how could Speaker Silver, one of the most powerful men in all of New York, earn millions of dollars in outside income without deeply compromising his ability to honestly serve his constituents?” Mr. Bharara said at a news conference. “Today, we provide the answer: He didn’t.
The investigation of Mr. Silver began in June 2013 and picked up speed after Mr. Cuomo shut down the Moreland panel.


After Speaker Silver’s Arrest, Predicting ‘Chaos’ in Albany Power Balance

Until now, what the United States attorney in Manhattan called “the show-me-the-money culture” of Albany has taken comfort in knowing that its leader and most powerful figure was unassailable — untouched despite years of investigations, suspicions and rumors of impropriety.

Mr. Silver is arguably the most powerful Democrat in the state, a mercurial and potent force who could single-handedly sink the most cherished plans of mayors and governors.
As one real estate executive put it on Thursday: “Shelly is the devil we know.”


No comments:

Post a Comment

Join the conversation.