The case of United States of America v. Sheldon Silver speaks not only to the alleged corruption of one of the most powerful political figures in the State of New York but also the urgent need to truly reform a political system that again and again shows itself to be easily turned into a money-making machine for elected officials.
Silver is accused of taking millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks over the years in exchange for steering business to a pair of law firms, one of them Weitz and Luxenberg, with which he was openly affiliated. He was arrested last week and charged in a five-count federal complaint that prosecutor Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, said will lead to an indictment.
As many people were bracing for a snowstorm across much of the state, Democratic Assembly members were battling a political storm in Albany as they mulled over whether longtime Speaker Assemblyman Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) should have to step down following his arrest last Thursday on charges of fraud.
When all had settled, it was decided that Silver will hand in his resignation by Monday or be voted out as speaker by the Democratic Conference.
With the opening of the new session of the state Senate on Jan. 7, state Sen. Leroy Comrie (D-Hollis) was back doing what he loved in the City Council, and admittedly missed in his brief term as deputy Queens Borough president — the people’s business.
Comrie still is hiring staff, looking for new office space in the district and planning an aggressive agenda for 2015. Speaking Friday during a sit-down meeting with the editorial board of the Queens Chronicle, the veteran city legislator said a lot of the old is new again.
Queens Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan (D-Sunnyside) officially announced on Wednesday that she is throwing her hat in the ring to replace Assemblyman Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) as speaker, following Silver's arrest last week.
Two of New York’s three citywide elected officials on Monday called on Assemblyman Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) to step down as speaker following his arrest Thursday morning on allegations of bribery and fraud.
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State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) was arrested Thursday morning on a five-count federal indictment charging him with taking millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks disguised as outside income from a private law firm for the last 15 years at least.
Silver was charged with fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud.
Within a few days, Senate confirmation hearings will be held on Loretta Lynch concerning her nomination to the post of U.S. attorney general. Lynch is a seasoned U.S. attorney and highly professional, and she ought to be confirmed. Her hearing, however, must not ignore one very hard question.
The “Fast and Furious” gun-walking scandal reaches to the highest levels of the government. It is essential that, before the Judiciary Committee agrees to confirm her, Lynch must first promise to arrange for the appointment of a truly authentic independent investigation to get to the bottom of the matter. Since the independent counsel statute lapsed in 2000 (it did so after AG Eric Holder testified against its reauthorization before the committee), the question is, what legal mechanism exists to create such an authentically independent probe?
Our answer comes from the study of history. In the summer of 1930, the City Bar Association contacted Gov. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, informing him that there was something rotten going on in the magistrates’ courts in New York. Could the governor figure out a way to probe the internal mechani
sm of the courts? FDR then wrote a letter to the chief judge of the First Department, Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court, asking the court to appoint a referee — an independent counsel — to probe the alleged corruption. The counsel was, of course, Judge Samuel Seabury, “the man who rode the tiger,” and his probe snowballed to eventually topple the Tammany Hall underworld. Note that there was no statute in New York authorizing or mandating the appointment of the Seabury commission; this was an ad hoc arrangement.
Similarly, today, there is no federal statute mandating the creation of a probe to investigate “Fast and Furious.” But there is no law preventing the creation of an ad hoc probe either. The Senate Judiciary Committee must ask Ms. Lynch: If we vote to confirm you, will you imitate FDR, will you write a letter to the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, and ask him to ask the entire nine justices to select an independent counsel to probe this gun-running scandal?
The independent counsel must be appointed by the high court, not the Justice Department. Since Mr. Holder has surely done nothing illegal, he will undoubtedly welcome this suggestion, for he will, one presumes, be exonerated.
How about it, Ms. Lynch?
Four top Queens Library officials resigned last week as the institution continues to reorganize following the ouster of its longtime president amid a financial and management scandal and criminal probe.
The four executives who quit, who all bore the title of vice president, are Darlene Askew-Robinson, the library’s general counsel; Lisa Epps, who handled information technology; Angelica Huynh-Rivera, the head of human resources; and Frank Genese, who oversaw capital projects.
A new report by the Migration Policy Institute found that New York City is home to more than a half-million undocumented immigrants, with the largest concentration of that population living in Queens.
“I think that Queens, to many people, symbolizes opportunity,” said Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-Bayside), who was unsurprised to learn of the figure. She cited the large amount of small businesses in Queens, many of them immigrant-owned, as a potential reason.
Four top Queens Library officials resigned this week as the institution continues to reorganize following the ouster of its longtime president amid a financial and management scandal and criminal probe.
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An old adage says political leaders & diapers must be changed often, for the same reason. Sheldon Silver is a perfect example. He’s been “Pampered” by cronies in both parties for more than 20 years, leaving a lasting stench in Albany. Silver is now under federal investigation for failure to report income from a law firm, the latest of many scandals that have darkened his career & the state Legislature’s reputation. Why do Assembly members act like chew toys for this tyrant?
It’s time for term limits & disposable dynasties, not Huggies hanging on for too long.
In 1961, black and white Freedom Riders went on buses to challenge segregation in the American South.
Their first bus was firebombed; the passengers on the second were beaten, with the police intervening, almost on cue, to arrest them.
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The state Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration are taking a second look at the Van Wyck Expressway ramp proposal for Willets Point and may decide to re-evaluate the plan in light of the mega mall project in the Citi Field parking lot.
That’s the word from Willets Point United, the group of business and land owners in the Iron Triangle area who are trying to stop the city and developers from proceeding with plans to redevelop the site. WPU members were able to obtain emails through FOIL, the Freedom of Information Law, on the state and federal levels, on the possible re-evaluation.
Three years ago, the idea of Malcolm Smith and Vincent Tabone being linked in any sort of context might have elicited laughs in Queens political circles.
But with the beginning of jury selection this past Monday in their federal corruption trial, the two stand accused of conspiring to bribe Republican Party officials in New York City so Smith, once one of the most powerful Democrats in the state, could run for mayor in 2013 as a Republican.
This page has been a consistent supporter of the New York Police Department for a long time. When a federal judge saw intentional discrimination against minorities in stop and frisk, we criticized her and mostly defended the practice as a valid crimefighting tool. We’ve lost track of how many times we’ve touted the unbelievable reductions in violent crime the city has seen in the last generation, always crediting New York’s Finest.
For the three weeks prior to this, we’ve discussed the rift between City Hall and the rank and file, laying most of the blame at the feet of Mayor de Blasio, his pal Al Sharpton and others who’ve painted the department as inherently biased. We pointed out that some protesters weren’t saying “Hands up, don’t shoot” but “What do we want? Dead cops.” We rightly described Eric Garner as a scofflaw, with his record of 30 arrests, rather than just a “Staten Island resident,” as many others in our profession have done. We said it’s understandable that some officers engaged in silent protest by turning their backs on the mayor after two of their number were assassinated.
(NAPSI)—Today, our country is facing an unprecedented range of threats that require a more robust response than the current budget limits on national security and research and development spending allow.
It was a tense 2014 in the City of New York. And that was especially true in the largely residential Queens neighborhoods of Maspeth, Middle Village, Ridgewood, Glendale and Elmhurst.
Whether it was the stealthy opening of a homeless shelter in Elmhurst or the continued fight over placing one in an abandoned factory in Glendale, southwest Queens residents found themselves battling city government at different times throughout the year.