Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Seven Years Prison Sentence For Malcolm Smith Should Give Sheldon Silver, Dean Skelos Pause

From the NY Post:

The seven-year prison sentence imposed on crooked ex-state Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith was a shot across the bow of his former Albany associates, Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos — and one they’d be wise not to ignore, sources told The Post on Thursday.

“If they weren’t before, then they should be shaking in their boots now,” said a law-enforcement official familiar with Silver’s and Skelos’ corruption cases.

“Smith just got seven years [for trying to bribe his way onto the 2013 mayoral ballot] and he didn’t even steal money. What do you think’s going to happen to Skelos and Silver?

“They should both cut deals fast because they are going to get crushed and the lawyers are bleeding them dry,” the official added.

A law enforcement official familiar with Silver's and Skelos' corruption cases is leaking to the Post that Silver and Skelos should deal now or face prison terms as long or longer than Smith just got for his corruption case.


What exactly would Sheldon Silver and/or Dean Skelos have to deal to prosecutors in return for lesser sentences than they could get at a trial.

I bet I'm not the only one wondering that.


  1. Stop. Cuomo isn't going down. The biggest fish caught will be Silver and Skelos.
    We assume that they must know soooo much stuff about Cuomo's illegal dealings. I'm afraid thats a bad assumption. My bet is that they, like the rest of us, will only be able to offer up vague suggestions of Cuomo breaking the law, but nothing more. Come on, I get the "three guys in a room" thing, but Cuomo was not stupid enough to allow Silver or Skelos ANY information on his dealings.

    At this point we know Cuomo received money and had sit downs with the same people Skelos did shady things with and others. Ok. The receiving money and sit downs are legal. The illegal would be Cuomo taking the money and then doing X, Y, or Z BECAUSE of the money. Now that is the problem. We know that is the case but its very clear that they will need EVIDENCE of Cuomo saying "for $X I will do Y." You won't get that and Silver and Skelos won't be able to provide it. Even if they SAY Cuomo did illegal things, so what? Preet NEEDS VERY CLEAR EVIDENCE (wiretap tapes, emails, documents, etc with Cuomo saying that he'll do X for money). Won't happen. Sorry.

    Lets assume for a second that Cuomo does get indicted by Preet. Ok. My bet is that he does not step down as Governor, in spite of outcries for it, and that the case either gets eventually tossed out or Cuomo wins in trial. Why? Because any indictment is likely to be thin on hard evidence and more importantly, Cuomo has had many many months to put together a STRONG defense...and believe me, it will be top notch, aggressive, and powerful.

    So, lets just get ready for a full Cuomo term, a possible Cuomo third term, and more strident attacks on our profession. The biggest fish netted will be Silver and Skelos. We as teachers and anti-Ed. reform activists need not place our hopes in a questionable (at best) salvation handed to us by a U.S. Attorney. Lets spend our time digging in and preparing to fight long-term.

    1. Oh, and as an aside, the Supreme Court will be hearing the California tenure thing. That will NOT GO WELL. Tenure will lose at the Supreme Court. The fall-out will be national. Thats a much much much bigger thing than Cuomo! Be prepared for a more deeper and thorough screwing in about a year!
      Lets focus on that and how we will respond.

    2. I'm sorry, not the California tenure thing, but the teachers' union funding thing....

    3. Did you click the second link?

      If not, please do.

      There you'll see some of the problems Cuomo has related to the Skelos case.

      Not saying Cuomo's going down, but where do you think the leak about Silver and Skelos needing to deal came from?

      Bharara's office has a pattern of using leaks to move their cases forward - and that's what they're doing here.

    4. I agree with most of what you have to say, except your belief that Cuomo could withstand being indicted and stay in office through a trial. Never happen. He would be gone in days, if not hours. Democrats like Chuck Schumer and Steve Israel hate him and editorial boards from the NYT to other dailies across the state would abandon him very quickly. He would be gone. Fast.

    5. RBE,
      The Albany Project's article is very well informed and I really can't argue too much with the thinking. However, I'd say 2 things:
      1) Evidence Evidence Evidence. Because of the people that Bharara is gathering, for sure they are all SAYING things about Cuomo. However, that doesn't work here. Because of the Supreme Court ruling, Quid Pro Quo has a SUPER HIGH bar of evidence that basically says that you NEED a tape or document that says explicitly "I Andrew Cuomo am accepting this money and in return I will do X Y and Z..." Circumstantial evidence (people saying shit) wont work here, even if those doing the saying were the other side of a quid pro quo. All Cuomo has to do is say that he "in no way took the money to do anything and that any other statements are BS and were made under Bharara's pressure....go F yourself." Thats the big rub here. My bet and all my thinking hinges on the fact that there won't be that wiretap/document/email, and all there will be is circumstantial. Unless Cuomo is way way which case,'ll get nothing but smiles from me!
      2) Yes, Bharara does have a pattern of using leaks to move cases forward, and this leak is being read that way for sure. And I get that and I WANT to read that in the tea leaves. BUT, sometimes leaks are just a total statement of the obvious without any holy sheeeeit, this dude just got 10 years, imagine what Silver and Skelos can get!

      Is Bharara pushing this case like a mafia case? DEFINITELY! Its the obvious and correct call. And yes, governments are legitimate mafias....thats not a platitude or wild-ass statement...its sociologically, anthropologically, culturally, and historically true. (and yes, sometimes the illegitimate mafias do a better job than the legitimate ones.) So its the right call. And its even more correct here in NY because our legitimate mafia behave sooooo soooo soooo much outside of the legitimacy we allow. Using that as a given, we must also understand and look back on history: who generally gets nailed in mafia cases done as Bharara is doing this case? mid to second-tier folks, occasionally a big player, super-rarely the top guys. When the top guys go down its almost always after the big Bharara-like cases are concluded and some tax attorney nails them for some detail and then they go away. So, historically speaking, watch for Cuomo to not go down on this and in like 5 years some forensic campaign tax investigator will find some irregularities. Then he'll face time.

      But who the hell knows......just a big thought experiment anyway.

  2. Skelos and Silver certainly deserve jail if they are found guilty of what they are accused of doing. But, so many other legislators should also be facing charges, including those with the no-show jobs at law firms and those that are living off their campaign accounts/contributors. Why are these guys still serving in the state legislature?

    Different issue: Wasn't it pathetic when NYSUT essentially declared victory following the close of the legislative session? Teachers were routed, plain and simple. The people I work with have absolutely no idea that test scores will now count much more heavily toward their APPR score and that they will be observed by an independent evaluator. They also do not know that new teachers will have a four year probationary period.

    Our national, state and local unions are useless. They are stealing our dues and giving us nothing for the money.

  3. Dear RBE,
    Amazing to see these "Affinity" groups starting to flex. FariƱa made a political move (no one knows why) where she allowed 4 independent "networks" to remain on board, after she finally ended these groups. Unfortunately, these Affinity groups will clash within campuses as they have their own superintendents and the principals can basically tell the "local" superintendent to "Go Fuck Yourself!" It's going to get ugly this year. Bad move Carmen, really bad.