The Real Deal New York

Lobbyist who introduced Sheldon Silver to Glenwood Management testifies

Prosecutors claim Silver backed Glenwood's rent-regulation proposal for kickbacks

November 15, 2015 12:00PM


Glenwood Management’s Leonard Litwin and former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver

Albany lobbyist Brian Meara has testified that he was responsible for setting up former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver with a Glenwood Management executive.

Prosecutors argue that Silver’s relationship with Glenwood Management was part of a kickback network that illegally earned the lawmaker $700,000.

Meara told the Manhattan federal court on Friday that he organized the June 2011 meeting, where Glenwood’s Richard Runes presented a proposal for new rent-regulation laws, according to the New York Post.

“Do you remember Mr. Silver’s reaction?” prosecutor Howard Master said at the trail.

“He didn’t say yes; he didn’t say no. He probably said, ‘I hear you,’ and that was typical,” Meara replied.

“How satisfied was Glenwood with the legislative package that was offered?” Master asked.

“They were satisfied,” Meara said.

Jurors were also shown an early draft of the legislation that would have let a tax abatements expire, thereby allowing the city to adopt stronger rent regulations. Naturally, that wasn’t in Glenwood’s interest. The legislation that was eventually adopted with Silver’s support extended those abatements. [NYP]Christopher Cameron