A jury has convicted former state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, finding him guilty of all seven counts alleged in the federal indictment, Monday afternoon.
The 71-year-old Silver was convicted of multiple charges, including counts of honest services fraud, extortion and money laundering.
Prosecutors detailed two schemes that they say show Silver using his position and influence for personal financial gain of a total of more than $4 million.
In one arrangement, he was convicted of directing state funding to a medical clinic associated with Columbia University in exchange for patient referrals to a law firm where he was employed. Silver was then paid by the law firm.
"Today, justice was served," said Governor Andrew Cuomo in a statement. "Corruption was discovered, investigated, and prosecuted, and the jury has spoken. With the allegations proven, it is time for the Legislature to take seriously the need for reform. There will be zero tolerance for the violation of the public trust in New York."
Silver was also convicted of directing a powerful real estate company to use a different, smaller law firm for tax work. Silver was then paid referral fees by that firm.
“Today’s verdict is a reminder that the public good must be the only priority for elected officials," Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement after the verdict was released. "The people of New York expect and deserve better.”
Throughout the case, Silver’s defense team repeatedly maintained that no actual law was broken.
The assemblyman has represented parts of the Lower East Side since he was first elected in 1976.
He served as Assembly speaker from 1994 through this past January, when he was forced to step aside, although he has held onto his seat in the legislature.
In a statement, United States Attorney for New York's Southern District, Preet Bharara said:
"Today, Sheldon Silver got justice, and at long last, so did the people of New York."
Current Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said he was "deeply saddened," by the events that led to Silver's conviction. In a statement issued after the jury reached its verdict, Heastie vowed to continue fighting corruption in Albany. The statement from the current Assembly Speaker read in part:
"Words simply aren't enough. We will continue to work to root out corruption and demand more of elected officials when it comes to ethical conduct. The Assembly Majority remains committed to exploring ideas and implementing reforms to restore trust in our government."
Now that he's been convicted, Silver must leave his seat. He will also face up to 20 years in prison, when he is sentenced.