Since his arrest on federal corruption charges in January and his resignation as assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver has obviously been keeping a low profile in the neighborhood. But earlier today he made a public appearance at the Lunar New Year Parade in Chinatown.
In brief remarks just before the parade kicked off, Silver joined other elected officials on stage, wishing constituents a happy new year. “I’m thrilled to be here with you here today to celebrate this occasion,” he said. “I am honored to continue to represent this Chinatown community.”
Silver has vowed to keep his seat in the 65th Assembly District, which includes Chinatown and the Lower East Side. Last week, a federal grand jury indicted him on mail fraud, wire fraud and extortion charges in connection with an alleged $4 million bribery scheme. He will be arraigned on Tuesday.
Prior to his downfall, Silver made frequent appearances in Chinatown and his office placed a high priority on supporting Chinatown residents through state grants to local non-profit organizations and attentive constituent services. His appearance today caused a few awkward moments. Some fellow elected officials praised him for helping to push through a law allowing a Chinese new year holiday, while others tried to avoid being photographed with the once powerful speaker.
Thanks to Tim Schreier for these photos.