Former N.Y. State Assembly Leader Sheldon Silver Sentenced to 12 years in Prison for Corruption

“Today’s decision sent a simple message that officials who abuse the public’s trust will be held accountable. Justice was served.” Read the statement from Governor Andrew M. Cuomo regarding sentencing of Sheldon Silver

Silver was sentenced to 12 years in prison on May 3rd on charges that included honest services fraud, money laundering and extortion. Evidence presented during trial included the accusation that Sheldon Silver used his NY State Senate seat to assist a cancer researcher; he received almost $4 million in fees for his “services”.

He was a feared politician as speaker of the New York Assembly. Many in the Syracuse area will recall what happened to former NY State Assemblyman Michael Bragman, when he attempted to challenge the speaker for the top spot in the Assembly. He was soon without a seat, cast out by a leader who has a reputation for being ruthless towards opposition.

Albany has long had the reputation as being one of the most crooked state legislatures in the nation. Soon after the indictment of Democratic leader Sheldon Silver, Dean G. Skelos, who was Mr. Silver’s Republican counterpart in the State Senate, was convicted of corruption. The aforementioned represent only two of many New York lawmakers who’ve been convicted and sentenced for using their public positions to enrich themselves.

New York Lawmakers and Their Sentences

A list of the longest prison terms given to convicted former state officeholders in New York in recent years.

Defendant Sentence Year
William F. Boyland Jr., Assemblyman 168 months 2015
Sheldon Silver, Assembly speaker 144 months 2016
Daniel J. Halloran III, N.Y. City Councilman 120 months 2015
Brian M. McLaughlin, State Assemblyman 120 months* 2009
Carl Kruger, State Senator 84 months 2012
Malcolm A. Smith, State Senator 84 months 2015
Efraín González Jr., State Senator 84 months 2010
Anthony S. Seminerio, State Assemblyman 72 months 2010
Miguel Martinez, N.Y. City Councilman 60 months 2009
Pedro Espada Jr., State Senator 60 months 2013
Larry B. Seabrook, N.Y. City Councilman 60 months 2013

* Reduced to 72 months; Sentencing is still pending for State Senator John L. Sampson.