A judge seen as a Sheldon Silver crony is presiding over three property tax cases brought by Lower East Side landlords who are represented by Goldberg & Iryami, the law firm accused of paying Silver at least $700,000 in kickbacks.
Judge Martin Shulman is a lifelong friend of Silver’s who lives in The Same Grand Street building and attends the same synagogue as the former speaker, according to the New York Post. In total, Shulman is overseeing 17 cases involving Goldberg & Iryami, as the lone judge who deals with property tax assessment challenges.
“They’re friends who grew up together. Shelly pushed Shulman through to Be A Supreme Court judge,” a judicial insider told the newspaper.
The landlords in question are Mark Miller and Sion Misrahi, both longtime financial supporters of Silver. Miller is the former president of the Lower East Side Business Improvement District, to which Silver gave $450,000 in public money between 2003 and 2010.
Miller is seeking a judgment that his six-story rental building at 256 Broome Street is worth less than the $578,000 assessment, while Misrahi is protesting an appraisal of an 18-unit building at 188 Orchard Street, as well as fighting a $200,000 hike on a property at 11 Essex Street.
Silver was arrested for accepting alleged kickbacks Jan. 22. and has now resigned from his post as New York State Assembly Speaker. The preceding investigation dates back to 2013. [NYP] — Tess Hofmann