Ex-speaker of the New York state Assembly Sheldon Silver was sentenced to seven years in prison, although the sentence is less than the 12 years he was sentenced to in his original trial.
The judge cited the 74-year-old Silver’s advanced age and the substantial monetary penalties she plans to levy, including a $1.75 million fine, in the lower sentence, according to The New York Post.
Silver was convicted in May for a second time after a new precedent gave him the chance to win an appeal. He used his office to garner $4 million in kickbacks, plus $1 million in profits, in part of two different schemes.
Before his arrest in 2015, Silver was one of the most powerful men in Albany, along with Gov. Andrew Cuomo and former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, according to The New York Post.
Silver’s lawyer Michael Feldberg talked about how he and his client will appeal this decision just as they did the last time, saying the feds once again failed to prove that Silver promised anything in return for the lucrative referrals he received.
He is the fourth public official with ties to Albany to be convicted in the Manhattan federal courthouse since March, according to The New York Post.
Others include ex-Cuomo aide Joe Percoco, Skelos, and Alain Kaloyeros, Cuomo’s point man for his “Buffalo Billion” program to revitalize upstate New York, according to The New York Post.
The judge spoke harshly about Albany’s culture of corruption, noting that recent months have all “touched, directly and indirectly, the ‘three men in a room’” which is term used to describe the governor and top leaders of the Senate and Assembly.
“This has to stop,” she said. “New York state has to get its act together and do something institutionally to stop corruption.”
She was pleased to see Silver apologize for his conduct unlike in 2016.
“That was a wise decision on Mr. Silver’s part,” she said. “Mr. Silver’s conduct clearly caused discernible harm.”
She talked about wear and tear as well.
“I feel like visually he’s aged more than the three years that have gone by chronologically,” she said.
Silver also spoke at the sentencing, saying that he is “extremely, extremely remorseful” for having “brought out a great deal of distrust in NY’s government.”
“I fear that I will continue to be ridiculed and disdained,” he said.