Campaign finance filings show that Lower East Side Assemblyman Sheldon Silver has spent more than $1.5 million in legal fees since his arrest in January on federal corruption charges.
The former Assembly speaker paid the law firm MoloLamken more than $1 million from his campaign fund. Another $500,000 went to Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, another legal practice. There’s still $1.76 million remaining in the campaign account, although contributions slowed down dramatically this year. Only about $3,000 was collected in the first half of this year.
Blair Horner of the New York Public Interest Research Group told the Daily News, “That’s an eye-popping amount.” His organization believes politicians should not be allowed to use campaign money to finance legal defenses.
Silver is accused of accepting kickbacks to the tune of $4 million. He’s scheduled to go on trial in November.