Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s forced leave of absence from Weitz & Luxenberg doesn’t mean his financial relationship with the powerhouse firm is done.
Silver, who is expected to be replaced as speaker tomorrow by Assemblyman Carl Heastie, is holding on to his Assembly seat, despite the humiliation of losing power, because he thinks it will help him in his federal corruption trial, anonymous sources tell Fred Dicker.
The Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus announced its support for Heastie’s speaker bid over the weekend, noting he’ll be the first person of color in history to hold the post.
Tom Precious: “Seemingly by design, Heastie has not been a visible and loud force in the Albany power structure.” The speaker-in-waiting called himself “an average guy who in my spare time likes sports and spending time with my daughter.”
Heastie has steered hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money to his campaign contributors, according to an analysis by Capital New York. Additionally, his donors include individuals with business before the committee he chairs and supporters of bills that he has introduced. His campaign expenditures include international plane tickets and over $60,000 in unitemized expenses.
Business advocates are worried the state’s trial lawyers, who had an ally in Silver, have a hookinto Heastie through his longtime advisor and college friend Patrick Jenkins, who is a lobbyist for the state Trial Lawyers Association.
Two resolutions introduced in the state Assembly Friday night indicate that despite the hopes of some members that a new speaker could be elected next week, the chamber appears to be prepared to wait until Feb. 10.
It’s easier to make enemies of the rich and powerful when you are already financially secure, and in 2011 US Attorney Preet Bharara became a dotcom millionaire.
The Weekend That Was
FEB 1ST – 5:26 PM Posted by Liz Benjamin in […]
· According to a “court source,” the feds are investigating the state Supreme Court’s civil division at 60 Centre St. in lower Manhattan, where many tentacles reach to disgraced soon-to-be-former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and his childhood friend, Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman.
· Veteran investigative reporter Wayne Barrett writes more about Silver’s connection to Lippman, as well as other prominent Jewish figures on the Lower East Side.
· Bronx Assemblyman Carl Heastie, who is set to become Assembly speaker within days, is a lawmaker of few words, with a penchant for avoiding public attention and keeping his thoughts to himself. “It’s sort of like Shelly (Silver),” said a veteran state lawmaker from NYC. “(Heastie) has a quiet, self-effacing attitude that makes it hard to read him.”
· Heastie attracted the attention of the now-defunct Moreland Commission. It subpoenaed his campaign’s bank records to see whether he was using political donations for personal expenses, records show. But the assemblyman has been accused of no wrongdoing, and federal prosecutors have signaled no interest in him.
· Heastie said he would consider banning or limiting state legislators’ outside income.
· With Heastie poised to become speaker, two Bronx Democratic assemblymen – Jeff Dinowitz and Marcos Crespo – are quietly vying to succeed Mr. Heastie as chairman of the Bronx Democratic Party.
· Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos laughed offnews that the feds have launched a corruption probe into his outside income — the same issue that brought down Silver.
· The Syracuse Post-Standard says Silver’s downfall gives Albany a “unique opportunity to remake itself.”
· Now, following years of frustration in some local quarters over a “look the other way” approach to election law violations by G. Steven Pigeon, a well-connected political operative and former Erie County Democratic chairman, the state attorney general and the FBI appear to be paying attention.