Sheldon Silver, former speaker of the New York State Assembly, arrested earlier this year for receiving nearly $4 million in illegitimate payments from various law firms and not disclosing those payments, refused to reveal his outside financial activities on an annual disclosure form as required.
Instead, he repeatedly filled in such locations on the form with a statement citing his federal indictment.
Via the Times Union:
Former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver isn’t in an income-disclosing mood right now.
In his annual financial disclosure posted online Thursday by the state Joint Commission on Public Ethics, the Manhattan Democrat would not answer questions about his outside financial activities, writing several times that, “Given pending proceedings in Federal Court it is inappropriate to answer this question; however, this answer will be amended upon completion of the proceedings.”
Silver is facing federal corruption charges, brought by U.S. Attorney for the Southern District Preet Bharara, that accuse him of using his speakership to collect legal fees from both a personal injury law firm and a tax firm that took payments from real estate interests with business before the Legislature. He maintains his innocence.
A spokesman for JCOPE, an ethics panel investigating Silver’s work for a tax firm in a separate case, refused to comment to local media as to whether or not his actions amount to a ‘deficiency in filing.’
Still, Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin (R) wants answers.
“How does Silver being under federal indictment excuse him from disclosing his income?” he asked.