Rumor has it that President Trump is considering pardoning Sheldon Silver, former speaker of the Assembly and criminal. We hope it is just that: Rumors.
Silver had a nice racket going as one of Albany’s most powerful. He would arrange for state money to be paid to a cancer researcher at Columbia University. That researcher would refer cancer-stricken subjects to a law firm associated with Silver; they would pay the speaker a fee. Essentially, he was laundering taxpayer money for his own pockets, to the tune of $3.9 million in fees.
Silver remained unrepentant during his trial. He has used every trick to stay out of prison. He was tried and convicted in 2015, and appealed. He was convicted again in 2018, and appealed. He spent years after his arrest-free, only landing in prison — for a 6 1/2 year sentence — just this past August.
Politicians across New York followed Silver’s lead, setting up side businesses and non-profits, funded by state or city money, that would provide cushy jobs to friends or allies. He is the poster child for Democratic corruption in the state.
We don’t know what friend of Silver got in the ear of someone in the administration, or if this is because of animus toward the man who tried Silver, Preet Bharara. Either way, we hope that the name is quickly dismissed. There is no travesty of justice here, and a man so defiant and arrogant does not deserve mercy. Keep Sheldon Silver in jail.