US reportedly probing real estate law firm’s payments to Silver

Investigation said to target New York Assembly Speaker's disclosure of monies received
December 30, 2014 08:10AM

Federal authorities are reportedly investigating New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver for payments he received from a law firm that seeks real estate tax reductions for commercial and residential properties in the city.

The law firm, Goldberg & Iryami, is said to have paid Silver money over the course of about a decade. The payments, however, were not listed on the Assembly speaker’s annual financial disclosure forms, according to the New York Times. How much money Silver received from the firm is unclear, but the sum is thought to be “substantial,” the newspaper reported.

Prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s office launched the investigation to find out what Silver has done with the payments, the newspaper reported.

The investigation into the firm’s payments to Silver is a result of the work of the Moreland Commission, an anti-corruption panel set up by Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2013, before it was shut down in March.

While Silver is a personal injury lawyer, he has no expertise in the complicated matter in which Goldberg & Iryami specialize. The speaker has been subject to investigations in the past, but has never been charged with any wrongdoing.

Silver’s annual income from his private law practice is about $650,000, according to his most recent financial disclosure form cited by the New York Times. As speaker, Silver earns $121,000 per year. [NYT] Claire Moses