New York:
Sheldon Silver cheated with lobbyist, woman he got state job

Sheldon Silver didn't just cheat the system — he cheated on his wife too.

Court filings unsealed Friday show the former Assembly Speaker had affairs with two women — one a state lobbyist and one who he helped get a job with the state.

The "government has credible and corroborated evidence that while serving as Speaker of the Assembly, the defendant engaged in extramarital relationships with two women," the feds say in the court filing.

The women's names were redacted, but the filing says one "lobbied the defendant on a regular basis on behalf of clients who had business before the state."

A source identified the lobbyist as Patricia Lynch, a former aide to Silver who founded her own powerhouse lobbying firm, Patricia Lynch & Associates.

Lynch was well-known for her close ties to Silver, and the feds' filing says she was identified by witnesses as "an individual who as a lobbyist had special access to the defendant" and "who obtained certain clients in part because of her access to the defendant."

The government has an incriminating tape recorded conversation between the pair, the filing says.

In it, they "discuss their desire to keep the truth about relationship from reporters inquiring about extramarital relationships, and how they should handle such inquiry."

Silver also told her he was concerned word would get out because reporters had requested his "travel and campaign finance records," the filing says. He "expressed concern that those documents as well as telephone records could reveal their relationship." They then went on to discuss a client she was lobbying for.

"I don't talk to anybody about the issue except for you," she's quoted as saying.

Lynch, through her office, declined comment.

The other alleged mistress was a person "for whom the defendant used his official position to recommend for a job with the state (redacted) over which he exercised a particularly high level of control." He had a special cell phone to talk to her on, the filing says.

The Feds said that they "obtained evidence that during the course of their relationship, the defendant used his official position to help (her) obtain State employment." He'd aggressively pushed for the hire, the documents say.

The filing called the extramarital evidence "relevant not only to the defendant's moral character, but to the use of his official position for private benefit," and the feds hoped to be able to use it against Silver had he taken the stand at his criminal trial last year.

Silver's attorneys had urged the judge to keep the evidence out of the trial, calling it "a transparent attempt to smear Mr. Silver's personal character before the jury with irrelevant and tawdry gossip that has nothing to do with the charges in this case."

As they did with the corruption charges against their client, Silver's lawyers maintained there was no quid pro quo.

"The government offers no proof whatsoever that Mr. Silver ever 'used his official powers to help (redacted) in exchange for a purported sexual relationship, or even that he treated her lobbying proposals any differently from any other person's," their filing says.

As for the state employee, Silver's lawyers argued, "Once again, the government's argument fails because it does not show that Mr. Silver sought a job for (redacted) in exchange for a purported sexual relationship."

"Mr. Silver's personal relationship with his wife is not an issue this case," they said.

In a joint statement Friday, Silver's lawyers, Steven Molo and Joel Cohen, said, "These are simply unproven and salacious allegations that have no place in this case or public discussion."

The disclosure of the documents, which were filed under seal in October, was fought tooth and nail by Abbe Lowell, a lawyer for one of the women. He did not respond to requests for comment Friday.

Silver has been married to his wife Rosa, a former teacher, for decades. They have four adult children.

Manhattan Federal Court Judge Valerie Caproni ordered the information unsealed at a hearing on Thursday, noting that the information could potentially impact whatever sentence she hands down in this case on May 3.

"The public has a right to know what all is on the plate," she said. "This is not one of his better moments."

Silver, 72, was convicted of multiple corruption charges in November.

He faces up to 130 years in prison when he's sentenced, but is likely to be sentenced to much less.

Source:   nydailynews
Source Link:   nydailynews

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