|Sheldon Silver leaving Court January 2015|
Everyone knew about Assemblyman Sheldon Silver's backroom politics, and no one did anything until Preet Bharara stepped in.
Nathaniel Brooks for The New York Times
Sheldon Silver, Former Assembly Speaker, Helped Developer Block Methadone Clinic’s Relocation, U.S. Says
When a methadone clinic sought to relocate to Manhattan’s financial district in 2011, parents, local business owners and others rallied in opposition. Perhaps the most prominent opponent was Sheldon Silver, then the powerful speaker of the State Assembly who represented that neighborhood.
“I made it clear to everyone involved that this does not seem to be an appropriate location for this facility,” Mr. Silver said in a statement released at the time.
But what Mr. Silver did not reveal then, federal prosecutors said in court papers filed last week, was that a real estate developer who owned a building near the proposed location had asked him for his help in blocking the project — and that Mr. Silver had a secret interest in providing such assistance.
Mr. Silver, prosecutors said in the filing, was receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal payments disguised as referral fees from a law firm to which he had steered some of the developer’s legal business.