Assemblyman Sheldon Silver walked into federal court in Lower Manhattan Tuesday morning to answer to charges in a corruption case alleging he abused his public office. Courtney Gross filed the following report.
The former leader of the state Assembly silently walked into federal court Tuesday morning, facing new corruption charges.
Sheldon Silver pleaded not guilty to a seven-count indictment on Tuesday, which included new charges since he was first arrested back in January. Silver also received a trial date: November 2.
"I am glad that there is a trial date set. There will be motions made, and I am confident that at the end of this process, I will be totally vindicated. Thank you," Silver said.
Since January, Silver has been pushed out of his powerful position as Assembly speaker, but he continues to assert his innocence, and he also continues to serve in the state Assembly. In fact, he told NY1 after his court appearance that he was heading up to Albany.
Gross: Will you still be able to do your job?
Silver: I'm going right now.
Silver is accused of using his government position to get business as a private attorney, essentially securing millions of dollars in illegal kickbacks masked as legitimate income. The most recent charges accuse the former speaker of investing and hiding profits from his so-called criminal acts.
On Tuesday, Silver's attorneys raised concerns over whether they had received every piece of evidence from the prosecution, including material the U.S. attorney has acquired from the Moreland Commission, the anti-corruption panel Governor Andrew Cuomo shut down last year.
Meanwhile, prosecutors said they could not rule out bringing more charges against the assemblyman. Their investigation, they said, is continuing.
Prosecutors expect this trial to last about a month, meaning the entire case should be wrapped up by the end of the year.