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  #21  
Old 01-28-2015, 10:49 AM
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Default Re: FBI: NYS Assembly Speaker Jew Vermin Sheldon Silver Arrested On Corruption Charges

http://nypost.com/2015/01/28/de-blas...embly-speaker/

De Blasio staying out of fight for Assembly speaker
By Yoav Gonen and Michael Gartland
January 28, 2015 | 12:38am


Bill de Blasio
Photo: Splash News


The city isn’t meddling in Albany’s closed-door power scramble to anoint a new speaker of the Assembly, Mayor de Blasio said Tuesday.

During a chat with reporters, the mayor said his staff is making calls to stay on top of the hectic chess match in Albany, but is not pushing any particular candidate.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was hit with felony corruption charges last week by US Attorney Preet Bharara and is being pressured to resign his leadership post.

“I’m not talking to Assembly members at all,” said de Blasio, dispelling claims by some Albany insiders that he’s been promoting Carl Heastie of The Bronx to replace Silver.

“We’re trying to keep abreast of what’s happening because we have a lot of things that really matter to us. We’re just trying to gather information.”

Hizzoner has a lot of stake in the speaker shake-up, since Albany plays a role in many things the city does, from taxes to schools.

“The mayor desperately needs to have a friend in Albany,” said one lobbyist who works extensively in the capital.

“He’s angered the Republicans in the Senate [by supporting Democrats in last year’s elections], and you know he can’t count on [Gov.] Cuomo.”

Silver was pivotal in helping the city secure hundreds of millions of dollars for expanding pre-kindergarten in 2014.

This year, Albany is expected to decide on the charter school cap and extending rent-regulation laws and mayoral control of the public schools.

The mayor has continued to stand by Silver.

“I’ve known him since 1995, when I was the state director for the Clinton-Gore re-election. In all my dealings with him . . . he’s done everything he said he was going to do.” de Blasio said.
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  #22  
Old 01-29-2015, 10:41 AM
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Default Re: FBI: NYS Assembly Speaker Jew Vermin Sheldon Silver Arrested On Corruption Charges

http://nypost.com/2015/01/29/shocked...lver-the-boot/

‘Shocked’ law firm gives Silver the boot
By Aaron Short and Carl Campanile
January 29, 2015 | 12:29am

He was shocked — shocked — that Sheldon Silver did anything wrong.

The founder of a law firm that paid Silver millions over a dozen years for doing virtually no work gave the disgraced Assembly speaker his walking *papers Wednesday.

“We were shocked to learn about the allegations against him of impropriety in the referral of cases to our firm. We have asked Mr. Silver to take a leave of absence until these allegations are resolved,” said Perry Weitz, founder and president of Weitz & Luxenberg.

US Attorney Preet Bharara last week charged Silver with using his public office to amass millions through corruption and kickback schemes.

One of the allegations centers on Silver delivering $500,000 in state grants to Dr. Robert Taub of Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center for asbestos research in exchange for the doctor referring patients to the law firm.

Prosecutors say Silver received more than $3.2 million in fees from the firm on top of his $120,000 annual base pay through the scheme.

The criminal complaint said that Silver never even contacted or met the mesothelioma patients the doctor steered to Weitz & Luxenberg in Silver’s name, and did not do any legal work on the cases.

Weitz said: “As the US attorney’s complaint clearly stated, we were never told that he was ever going to allocate, or had allocated, any state funding in exchange for client names he referred to us.”

Asked whether the firm cut Silver’s $120,000 pay, officials said “the issue of compensation was still being addressed by the firm’s attorneys.”

While the law firm cooperated with the federal probe, the criminal complaint noted that the firm — on the advice of Silver — initially sought to block a subpoena from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Moreland Commission when the panel asked the firm about its financial dealings with Silver.

Silver issued a statement through the firm saying he was taking the leave in order to not be a “distraction.”

But after the federal charges hit, Silver was an even larger distraction in the Assembly, where he refused to give up his speaker’s post until pressured to do so.

Although out as speaker effective Monday, Silver, 70, will receive a handsome pension of at least $87,120 when he retires — $7,620 more than the base pay he will collect as a mere assemblyman, according to the Empire Center for New York State Policy.


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Carl Heastie
Photo: Robert Kalfus

The jockeying to succeed Silver as speaker intensified Wednesday. Bronx Assemblyman Carl Heastie became the strong front-runner after Harlem Assemblyman and Manhattan and Democratic chairman Keith Wright took himself out of the running to back Heastie.

“Most people think it’s Heastie’s to lose,” said an insider.

Heastie’s bid is still complicated by the entry of Queens Assemblywoman Catherine *Nolan, who, if elected, would become the first woman speaker.

Majority Leader Joseph Morelle — named interim leader until Feb. 10 — is also in the mix along with Brooklyn Assemblyman Joe Lentol.
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  #23  
Old 01-30-2015, 10:10 AM
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Default Re: FBI: NYS Assembly Speaker Jew Vermin Sheldon Silver Arrested On Corruption Charges

http://nypost.com/2015/01/30/de-blas...-2016-dnc-bid/

De Blasio picks Silver pal to help with city’s 2016 DNC bid
By Yoav Gonen, Carl Campanile and Danika Fears
January 30, 2015 | 12:49am

A week after he defended Sheldon Silver following the disgraced Assembly speaker’s arrest on corruption charges, Mayor de Blasio on Thursday officially named a developer at the center of that scandal to help the city’s bid for the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

Big-time political donor Leonard Litwin was on Hizzoner’s 119-member list for the convention host committee, even though Litwin’s luxury apartment-rental company, Glenwood Management, is tied to Silver’s alleged dirty deals.

According to the feds, Silver steered two developers, including 100-year-old Litwin, toward the law firm Goldberg & Iryami, so Silver could rake in hundreds of thousands of dollars in referral fees.

Litwin agreed to hire the two-person firm to curry favor with the influential Silver, Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara has charged.

“And that is not surprising, because Silver is a powerful political leader in the state who holds sway over so many laws and policies near and dear to the developers’ bottom lines,” the prosecutor said.

Glenwood hasn’t been charged with any wrongdoing — but Litwin found out about the fee-sharing arrangement in January 2012, when the firm sent him a new retainer agreement, court papers say.

Litwin refused to sign the new agreement, although he later signed a “side letter” acknowledging the deal.

De Blasio’s decision to keep Litwin on his list could spell more trouble for the mayor’s bid to hold the convention in the city. It reportedly has already taken a hit among national Democrats because of the mayor’s ongoing feud with cops.

Last August, the Sergeants Benevolent Association took out full-page newspaper ads saying it could not “in good conscience” support his bid to bring the convention to the Barclays Center.

Litwin, who donated $4,950 to de Blasio’s mayoral campaign, was first named a member of de Blasio’s host committee last November.

He is known as one of the top political donors in New York state — and has skirted around caps on campaign contributions by funneling millions of dollars in donations through more than 20 limited-liability companies controlled by Glenwood.

When asked about Litwin’s continued inclusion on the committee, City Hall officials would only say they were proud of all the people chosen.

In the press release, de Blasio also announced his 10 host committee co-chairs, including Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Vogue editor Anna Wintour and tech giant Sean Parker, who recently gave $250,000 to the mayor’s nonprofit Campaign for One New York.

“As we head into the final weeks of the selection process, it’s more critical than ever that we show the DNC that New Yorkers are enthusiastic and united in our desire to bring the convention back to New York City,” the mayor said in the statement.

As of Thursday, de Blasio’s host committee had raised $20 million in pledges, with $6.5 million in cash on hand, according to the statement.
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  #24  
Old 01-31-2015, 12:20 PM
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Default Re: FBI: NYS Assembly Speaker Jew Vermin Sheldon Silver Arrested On Corruption Charges

ilikesittingdown therealmrfish
09 June 2013 3:50am
comment
47
Facebook is irksome to say the least and hopefully it will soon be superseded by a more localised open source platform with no advertising, billionaires and secret intelligence agencies.
As one commentator mentioned, it's like going to a party and talking to people, but never having the opportunity to go home. In other words the catching up and talking never ends.
The perpetual flow of inane information, creating a generation of narcissists, who think that every movement they make is intensely important, conveniently feeding back into the pop culture where one can be a celebrity purely by being a celebrity - talent an unnecessary equation.
A product of this is Parker himself who is merely a conduit in the throw away culture. A symbol of the limit where capitalism breaks down. An example of why there needs to be a cap on how much wealth individuals can have.
I would argue that this figure should be around $50-1000m - after which the money flows back into the market digits or the society from where it came. Who cares if this will allegedly take some entrepreneurs out of the system as there will be a line of innovators and hopefuls waiting to take their place. The billions of dollars held up by a few people can then begin to flow again.
Parker is not a genius, social networking platforms were around before facebook, but he is someone who has had the drive to do something, which is commendable and should be rewarded, but not to the extent that he has been.
He effectively sits on a large finite resource, which the world needs. In a practical system, while leaving him comfortable this would be taken from him and dispersed.
Closed networking system - closed banking system - closed clique of billionaires
unquote

http://www.theguardian.com/theobserv...aire-lifestyle
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  #25  
Old 01-31-2015, 01:57 PM
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Default Re: FBI: NYS Assembly Speaker Jew Vermin Sheldon Silver Arrested On Corruption Charges

http://nypost.com/2015/01/31/speaker...heldon-silver/

Speaker hopeful Heastie has the support of Sheldon Silver
By Yoav Gonen, Carl Campanile and Bob Fredericks
January 31, 2015 | 12:06am

Bronx Assemblyman Carl Heastie could be sworn in as speaker as early as Tuesday, and he can count on the vote of the accused crook he’ll be replacing — Sheldon Silver.

“I think it’s a great choice, I think he’s a wonderful man ,” the disgraced speaker told The Post Friday as he entered his office at 250 Broadway.

The feds charged that Silver, the Assembly speaker since 1994, steered $500,000 in state grants to a doctor who helped him collect millions in referral fees from the Weitz & Luxenberg law firm.

Silver submitted his official resignation from the leader’s post Friday, to take effect Monday at 11:59 p.m.

The path cleared for Heastie to take over when Assemblyman Joe Morelle dropped out and threw his support to Heastie.

Payback came quickly, with Heastie vowing to keep Morelle, who represents parts of Rochester and its suburbs, as majority leader.

Morelle’s withdrawal left Queens Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan as the only member still challenging Heastie.

But Heastie’s support is building and his election seems assured, sources told The Post.

At least one other assemblyman, however, was not in on the lovefest — even though he was also lined up behind Heastie.

Brooklyn Assemblyman Joseph Lentol, who dropped out of the race for speaker after failing to get the backing of his own borough delegation, claimed Mayor de Blasio put his thumb on the scale for Heastie.

“Ask the mayor,” Lentol suggested when asked why Brooklyn Democratic Party chairman Frank Seddio and the Brooklyn delegation backed Heastie. “I know the mayor wanted Carl Heastie.”

De Blasio insisted he had no dog in the race.

“I’ve said it a thousand times, I’m not supporting anyone. Assembly members will make the decision,” he said.

Lentol said the vote for a new speaker could come as early as Tuesday.

“That makes sense. A lot of time has gone by, and we haven’t done any work,” Lentol said.

Not everyone agreed.

“It’s disconcerting. I hear this rush, let’s just do it,” said Manhattan Assemblywoman Deborah Glick.

“The opportunity for reform may have been closed out. We wanted to have members come before conference and make a pitch.”

Lentol said he expects Heastie will address the controversy over The Post’s report Friday that he used $2,500 in campaign funds to steer business to his baby mama, Alvita “Lan” Robertson, to design a campaign Web site.

Robertson got paid even though she didn’t design the site. She subcontracted the work to someone else.

“He has to address it in the Democratic conference in the very least. We want to hear what his explanation is,” Lentol said.

Heastie denied claims he steered work to Robertson to help satisfy his child-support obligations.

Morelle, meanwhile, called Heastie the best choice.
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  #26  
Old 02-01-2015, 09:12 AM
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Default Re: FBI: NYS Assembly Speaker Jew Vermin Sheldon Silver Arrested On Corruption Charges

http://nypost.com/2015/02/01/feds-pr...ilvers-arrest/

Feds investigating Silver’s influence over civil court
By Isabel Vincent, Melissa Klein and Susan Edelman
February 1, 2015 | 4:00am

The country’s most important civil court is under federal investigation, an insider says.

The probe is focusing on the state Supreme Court’s civil division at 60 Centre St. in lower Manhattan, where many tentacles reach to disgraced Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, the court source said.

Silver was arrested last month on corruption charges, and Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara warned the public to “stay tuned” for more developments.

The case against Silver centers on his freelance legal “work” and the millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks he hauled in from real-estate and asbestos claims, the feds say.

Many of these cases landed in the courtrooms at 60 Centre St., presided over by judges with ties to Silver and his lifelong pal, Jonathan Lippman, the chief judge of the state Court of Appeals.

Both men grew up on the Lower East Side, and Silver has been Lippman’s political godfather, pushing him to reach New York’s top judicial post.

“The appointment of Sheldon Silver’s childhood friend, Jonathan Lippman, as the state’s chief judge based on his administrative experience made about as much sense as the Yankees making their accountant the manager of the team,” said Charles Compton, former president of the Supreme Court Officers Association. He added that Lippman was appointed “to protect and promote Silver’s interests.”

At least three judges at 60 Centre St. are connected to Silver from the Lower East Side.



Judge Martin Shulman is a former president of Silver’s synagogue, and the two are neighbors in a Grand Street co-op complex. In 1999, the judge was appointed an acting Supreme Court justice by Lippman, then the state’s chief administrative judge.

Shulman has been handling tax-reduction claims at the Centre Street courthouse for at least a dozen years and now presides over most of these cases. Many of these cases were filed by the Goldberg & Iryami law firm.

Silver stands accused of raking in $700,000 in secret kickbacks from Goldberg & Iryami. Firm principal Jay Arthur Goldberg had worked for Silver in the Assembly as his counsel.

The indictment accuses Silver of steering billionaire developer Leonard Litwin, the state’s largest political donor, to the firm, along with another unnamed developer. In exchange, Silver reaped referral fees.

The Goldberg firm handled tax appeals for 15 buildings owned by Litwin’s organization, Glenwood Management, and its limited liability companies, prosecutors said.

Court records show that in one case that landed in Shulman’s court — involving a high-rise building on York Avenue — Glenwood won a $3.4 million reduction in the building’s assessment, which is used to determine its taxes.

It was settled before trial, and Shulman signed off on the agreement in 2010.

David Bookstaver, a court system spokesman, denied there were conflicts of interest in Shulman’s court.

“The issue of conflict really doesn’t exist as most of these cases in the tax part settle and the ones that go to trial are jury trials. Furthermore, Judge Shulman has no knowledge whatsoever of any compensation to Mr. Silver,” Bookstaver said.

But the apparent ties do not end in Shulman’s courtroom.

Litwin owns a rental building, The Fairmont — the same high-rise where Lippman and his wife rented a one-bedroom apartment between 2007 and 2010, The Post found. And Lippman’s son, Russell, a Harvard-educated lawyer, rented an apartment there between 2003 and 2005, public records show.

Lippman, who earned $156,000 in 2010, moved into the rent-stabilized building in 2007 shortly after he was appointed presiding justice of the Appellate Division in Manhattan and was required to live in The Bronx or Manhattan. He had lived in Westchester.

Bookstaver said Lippman paid market-rate rent of $3,195 for the apartment. He said Lippman rented at the Fairmont because he needed to move quickly and knew of the building because his son had lived there.

He said Lippman did not know Litwin owned the property.

“He has no idea who this guy is,” Bookstaver told The Post.

Silver’s influence was also apparent in another part of the iconic civil courthouse on Foley Square, where the grand entrance has been used as a backdrop for movies including “The Godfather” and “12 Angry Men” and countless episodes of “Law & Order.”

Weitz & Luxenberg, the law firm where Silver was “of counsel” until he was dumped last week, practically rules a special section of the court dealing with complex asbestos litigation.

Critics say the firm gets the “red-carpet treatment” including a fast track, “better judges” and first dibs on jurors to hear its cases.

Sherry Klein Heitler, the chief asbestos judge, as well as the top administrative judge at 60 Centre St., has handled dozens of the firm’s cases in what is called New York City Asbestos Litigation or NYCAL.

Last year, at Weitz & Luxenberg’s request, Heitler reversed a 20-year rule barring punitive damages in asbestos cases, paving the way for much bigger jury awards.

Another judge, Joan Madden, consolidated unrelated asbestos cases, which resulted in huge increases in jury verdicts — from an average of $7 million to $24 million per plaintiff between 2010 and 2014, data collected by Bates White Economic Consulting show. In one consolidated case, Silver’s firm won a $190 million award.

Of 15 mesothelioma verdicts in the last four years, Silver’s firm won $273.5 million of $313.5 million awarded by NYCAL juries.

The average award for an NYCAL asbestos case — nearly $16 million per plaintiff between 2010 and 2014 — is reportedly two to three times larger than those in other courts nationwide.

The American Tort Reform Association last year called the asbestos court the nation’s top “judicial hellhole” where plaintiffs’ lawyers are “brazenly favored by the judges.” Silver has been blocking tort-reform bills for decades in Albany.

It’s unclear whether any individual judge is being targeted by the investigation. The US Attorney’s Office said it could neither confirm nor deny any probe. An FBI spokesman would not comment.

“We are not aware of any federal investigation,” Bookstaver said.
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  #27  
Old 02-02-2015, 11:28 AM
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Default Re: FBI: NYS Assembly Speaker Jew Vermin Sheldon Silver Arrested On Corruption Charges

http://nypost.com/2015/02/02/why-she...y-speaker-yet/

Why Sheldon Silver can’t resign — yet
By Fredric U. Dicker
February 2, 2015 | 3:42am

Soon-to-be-ex-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is holding on to his Assembly seat, despite the humiliation of losing power, because he thinks it will help him in his federal corruption trial, sources have told The Post.

“If he resigned now, that would be an implicit admission of wrongdoing, something he denies and, besides, can’t afford to make,’’ a senior Assembly staff member said.

Several sources said they believed that Silver, expected to be replaced as speaker Tuesday by Bronx Assemblyman Carl Heastie, would have already resigned from the Assembly if he weren’t facing a criminal trial.

Others close to Silver said his claim that he wants to hang on to his seat in order to continue serving his Lower East Side constituents was a cover for what one called “a desperate effort’’ to keep his state benefits as he prepares for his trial.

All the sources predicted the near-40-year lawmaker, who announced Friday that he would leave the speakership Monday night after his arrest on five federal corruption charges, would either:

1. Resign on his own from the Assembly after being acquitted at trial rather than face the humiliation of serving as a mere member of the Legislature’s lower house, or . . .

2. Be automatically ousted upon conviction on any of the federal felony charges at the trial, likely to be held this year.

“This is it for Shelly being in the Assembly, one way or another,’’ said a senior state Democrat who first met Silver in the late 1970s.

“He’ll hold on to office through his trial, and then, one way or another, he’ll be out.”

Many insiders at the Capitol were commenting last week on the lackluster nature of Silver’s potential replacements — given that none, including Heastie, was known to have drafted major legislation, not to mention fought for genuine reforms.

What’s more surprising is that the same view was privately shared by Silver as he discussed possible successors several months ago — on the premise that he would one day voluntarily retire.

“Have you looked at them?” Silver asked with a chuckle, a well-known Albany figure recalled.

“Which one of them do you think could do the job better? Tell me,’’ Silver continued, this time breaking out in laughter.

The influential Albany figure said, “It was clear that Shelly was saying what people are saying today — that it really is a mediocre crew.’’
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  #28  
Old 02-03-2015, 11:13 AM
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Default Re: FBI: NYS Assembly Speaker Jew Vermin Sheldon Silver Arrested On Corruption Charges

http://nypost.com/2015/02/03/sheldon...mes-to-an-end/

Sheldon Silver’s 21-year reign as speaker comes to an end
By Aaron Short
February 3, 2015 | 1:47am


A Capitol worker removes Sheldon Silver's speaker plate Monday and replaces it with a generic one.
Photo: Shannon DeCelle


ALBANY — He’s riding off into the political sunset.

Sheldon Silver ended his 21-year reign as Assembly speaker at 11:59 p.m. Monday, forced by colleagues to give up the powerful post while facing federal corruption charges. Silver, 70, said he had “a great run” and described his soon-to-be successor, Bronx Assemblyman Carl Heastie, as “a good man.”

But it was a sad and humbling day for the Lower East Side Democrat, who was elected to the Assembly in 1976 and elevated to speaker in 1994, making him one of the most influential officials in the state.

In his heyday, Silver frequently traveled to Albany in a chauffeur-driven state vehicle.

On Monday — the day of his official demotion — he took an Amtrak train.

For one final time, Silver walked from his spacious office on the ninth floor of the Legislative Office Building through the concourse connecting to the state Capitol building.

He was accompanied by his press secretary, Michael Whyland, and his chief of staff, Judy Rapfogel, whose husband was convicted last year of stealing from the charity he ran.

Also joining him were an Assembly security officer and a horde of media.

Silver spent some time in the Assembly lounge chatting with colleagues who have known him for decades, but who last week demanded his resignation.

Some lawmakers described Silver’s downfall as tragic.

“Sadness, I think, is the best word to describe this. He’s been our leader for so long. He has done so much for us that it’s hard to forget the good times, even though the bad seems to have overpowered whatever good that he did,” said Brooklyn Assemblyman Joe Lentol, a fellow Democrat.

“That’s the way it is in life when you get in trouble. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done. You’re remembered by whatever bad that lingers on at the end.”

Lentol said it was “painful” for Silver to drop from leader to back-bencher.

Silver is continuing to serve as an assemblyman while fighting charges of steering $500,000 in state grants in return for referrals that netted him millions of dollars in fees from a law firm.

Assemblyman Michael Benedetto (D-Bronx) said the decision to depose Silver was “gut-wrenching” because many legislators are personally fond of him.

Another colleague, David Weprin (D-Queens), said Silver would remain an “invaluable resource,” given his knowledge of the legislative process.
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Old 02-03-2015, 11:15 AM
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Default Re: FBI: NYS Assembly Speaker Jew Vermin Sheldon Silver Arrested On Corruption Charges

http://nypost.com/2015/02/03/carl-he...embly-speaker/

Carl Heastie becomes first African-American State Assembly Speaker
By Aaron Short and Carl Campanile
February 3, 2015 | 12:38pm


Carl Heastie walks into the New York State Assembly on Monday.
Photo: Shannon Decelle


Carl Heastie of The Bronx was elected the first African-American Speaker of the New York State Assembly Tuesday — replacing disgraced ex-leader Sheldon Silver.

Heastie also becomes the first Assembly leader to hail from The Bronx.

He said he will soon step down as the Bronx Democratic Party chairman to devote his energies to running the Assembly.

Heastie, 47, enjoyed the special day accompanied by his five-year daughter, Taylor.

A contingent from The Bronx traveled to the capital to celebrate Heastie’s appointment, including Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., and City Council members Andy King, Annabel Palma and Vanessa Gibson.

“The Bronx has now become the center of the universe!,” said Harlem Assemblyman Keith Wright, who introduced the guests from the Bronx.

Assemblyman Jose Rivera, who was deposed by Heastie as the Bronx Democratic leader, took out his mobile phone and filmed the historic vote.

“I think it’s good for the Bronx,” Rivera said.

Silver, who was forced out as the 21-year leader after getting busted by U.S. Attorney Preet Bhara in a corruption scam, caused a stir by walking into the Assembly chamber in the middle of the vote.
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  #30  
Old 02-04-2015, 01:01 PM
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Default Re: FBI: NYS Assembly Speaker Jew Vermin Sheldon Silver Arrested On Corruption Charges

http://nypost.com/2015/02/03/silver-...blys-last-row/

Silver a Shel of his former self in Assembly’s last row
By Aaron Short, Carl Campanile and Bob Fredericks
February 3, 2015 | 11:18pm


Sheldon Silver (left) settles in to his new seat in the Assembly chamber Tuesday — in the last row, far from his one-time power perch.
Photo: AP


Sheldon Silver plopped down at his new desk in the Assembly’s nosebleed seats for the first time on Tuesday — in the stately chamber’s last row.

The stark image of Silver’s stunning fall from power showed just as plainly in the ex-speaker’s glum face a few minutes before noon as he trudged toward his seat, about 80 feet from the rostrum where he’d presided as the all-powerful Assembly leader for more than 20 years.

After settling in, Silver, 70, smiled wanly and shook hands with Kevin Cahill (D-Ulster) and Annette Robinson (D-Brooklyn) — but not all of his new neighbors were rolling out the red carpet.

“I’m tongue-tied. I’m going to be sitting next to Sheldon Silver!? What did I do to deserve this honor. Oh, my God!” quipped Bronx Assemblyman José Rivera.

But Rivera, the former Bronx Democratic leader who was deposed by new Speaker Carl Heastie as county boss, also had sympathetic words for Silver.

“I know Shelly from the old radical days from 40 years ago. We were socialist-minded,” he said. “There’s a lot of history here. Maybe we can talk about the good old days.”

Rivera sounded wistful, however, when remembering those good old days.

“We were both once influential and powerful. He was speaker, and I was county leader,” he said.

Robinson, meanwhile, was at a loss when asked if she knew what she and her new neighbor would have to talk about.

“No, not really,” she said before adding, “We’re collegial.”

Sources said veteran members prefer sitting in the last row — because it’s easier to duck in and out unobtrusively.

Silver later offered a defense of his reign when asked if the Legislature needed more transparency.

“I think we’re very transparent. We have been, and we will be,” he said before praising Heastie’s election. “I had the speaker’s chair for over 20 years. I think it’s time a younger person takes over and does the job.”

Silver’s reign as Assembly leader ended at 11:59 p.m. Monday after he was forced out by colleagues following his arrest by US Attorney Preet Bharara on corruption charges.

Heastie became the first African-American speaker of the Assembly — an accomplishment he admitted was bittersweet because of the taint surrounding Silver.

“We gather here today during a turbulent time for this institution,” Heastie during an eight-minute speech after taking over the speaker’s rostrum.

“The resignation of the previous speaker has brought about change in the leadership of this house. And this change in leadership will bring about much-needed reform.”

Heastie, 47, consolidated support from his Democratic colleagues less than two weeks after Silver’s arrest, despite questions surrounding his own baggage.

Albany insiders warned that Heastie is not out of the woods yet regarding questions raised about his campaign-finance and per-diem travel expenses — issues that were being examined Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Moreland Commission before it disbanded.
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