The Real Deal New York

Go directly to prison: Sheldon Silver’s request to remain free on bail denied

74-year-old must surrender to authorities on Oct. 5
September 18, 2018 08:30AM

Sheldon Silver and a “Go Directly to Jail” Monopoly card (Credit: Getty Images and iStock)

Sheldon Silver, once one of Albany’s most powerful politicians, is heading to prison.

Federal Court Judge Valerie Caproni on Monday denied the former New York State Assembly speaker’s request to remain free on bail while he appeals his latest conviction. Caproni said “the true purpose of Silver’s appeal is simply to postpone his day of reckoning,” the New York Times reported. Silver must turn himself in to authorities on Oct. 5.

In July, Silver was sentenced to seven years of prison after being convicted in May for a second time during a re-trial. He’d previously been sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Silver was accused of extorting developers Glenwood Management and the Witkoff Group — asking them to direct their tax business to law firm Goldberg & Iryami. Glenwood and Witkoff testified they were unaware Silver was receiving a kickback from the fees paid to the firm. At the time, Glenwood and Witkoff were lobbying Silver on real estate matters, including 421a developer tax exemptions.

During Silver’s roughly 40-year run in city and state politics, he pushed through millions in 421a tax breaks for the developers of Billionaires’ Row, helped shepherd through approvals for the megadevelopment now known as Pacific Park, and stymied other major projects including the redevelopment of Seward Park and the Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s West Side Stadium. [NYT] — Kathryn Brenzel