Glenwood lobbyists to testify at corruption trials

Jury selection begins in Silver case
November 02, 2015 03:40PM

Two lobbyists for Glenwood Management are expected to testify at the corruption trials of two of the state’s most powerful legislators this month.

The trial of former state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver begins Monday in a federal courthouse in Lower Manhattan. Silver is accused in court documents of using his official position to get Glenwood to send its tax certiorari business to a law firm headed by a lawyer who served as Silver’s counsel decades ago. That firm then paid Silver hundreds of thousands of dollars in what prosecutors have called kickbacks.

Behind the story:
Sheldon Silver
Leonard Litwin

Silver’s attorneys have argued that the assemblyman complied with disclosure requirements and that the conduct alleged by the government does not constitute a crime.

The case against State Sen. Dean Skelos, 67, former majority leader, contends that Glenwood funneled a $20,000 payment to the senator’s son and helped him get work as a consultant at an environmental technology company, a field in which he had no experience.

An executive for Glenwood, a development firm founded by the 100-year-old Leonard Litwin, are expected to testify that the senator pressured the developer to help his son and the developer did so because of concerns that Skelos would take action to hurt the company.

A pretrial motion filed by lawyers for Skelos and his son, whose trial is set to begin on Nov. 16, seems to suggest that part of their defense could be that the senator’s son made “admittedly false or seriously exaggerated statements to his employer” about what his father was doing on the company’s behalf.

Both trials are expected to span more than a month.