ALBANY SWAMP

FBI Arrests Top New York Dem Lawmaker

The speaker of the New York State Assembly, Sheldon Silver, was arrested by the FBI on corruption charges Thursday. Prosecutors allege that Silver, a Democrat who’s served as speaker for more than two decades, was paid more than $4 million from a small New York law firm that focuses on real-estate tax reductions for residential and commercial properties. Silver failed to list the payments from the firm, Goldberg & Iryami, on his annual financial-disclosure filings with the state. He faces five counts including mail fraud, wire fraud, and extortion. According to the complaint, he ran a scheme “to induce real-estate developers with business before the state” and was pulling payments for referrals he gave the firm.

Dozens of Assembly Democrats assembled Thursday to support their longtime leader. “There is a strong feeling, as I think we should all reflect on, that there is a presumption of innocence,” the majority leader said. “We have every confidence that the speaker is going to fill his role with distinction.”