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You Got the Silver



Sheldon Silver, the former speaker of the State Assembly who rose to become one of New York’s most powerful politicians, was sentenced to seven years in prison on Friday for his conviction on federal corruption charges.

Mr. Silver, a Democrat from Manhattan’s Lower East Side, had served as speaker for more than two decades, and influenced nearly every major aspect of state politics. He was convicted in May after an earlier conviction, in 2015, was overturned on appeal.

“This crime was driven by unmitigated greed,” the judge, Valerie E. Caproni of Federal District Court in Manhattan, said before she announced the sentence, referring to one of Mr. Silver’s two corrupt schemes.

“The bottom line is that Silver wanted to seem to be a man of the people while he was using his public position to richly line his own pockets,” she added.

Mr. Silver, along with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Dean G. Skelos, the former Republican State Senate majority leader, became known as one of the “three men in a room” who controlled decision-making in Albany. He also demonstrated a remarkable ability to fend off incursions from political rivals and investigators, inevitably emerging unbowed.

But last week, writing to the judge, Mr. Silver, 74, portrayed himself as a broken man. “Everything I ever accomplished has become a joke and a spectacle,” he wrote, adding, “I pray I will not die in prison.”

In court on Friday, he said, “Going forward, I fear that I will continue to be ridiculed, shamed by the stain that is upon me.”

Yeah, that’ll happen.

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