Earlier today, a federal grand jury voted to indict Sheldon Silver on charges of mail fraud, wire fraud and extortion. The former speaker was arrested Jan. 22 on accusations of corruption, but the Manhattan grand jury did not act on the complaint from U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara until this morning.
Two charges in the original complaint (mail fraud conspiracy and extortion conspiracy) were not included in today’s indictment. It’s unclear why they were omitted. Silver, the longtime Lower East Side assemblyman, will be arraigned on Tuesday.
Joel Cohen and Steven Molo, Silver’s lawyers, said in a written statement, “Our client is not guilty. We can now begin to fight for his total vindication. We intend to do that fighting where it should be done — in court,”
Although Silver resigned as speaker, he has vowed to continue representing Lower Manhattan in the 65th Assembly District. He is accused of pocketing $4 million in kickbacks and bribes.