New York’s Republican leader on Tuesday blasted reports that disgraced ex-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has been released from prison.
“The early release of Sheldon Silver is a gross miscarriage of justice and slap in the face to every New Yorker. He abused his power to personally profit to the tune of $4 million,” said NY GOP chairman Nick Langworthy.
“New Yorkers need to send a message that they are fed up with corrupt politicians escaping accountability while taxpayers are left holding the bag,” he added.
Some other politicians from both sides of the aisle were more sympathetic to Silver, who is 77 years old and was cut loose from an upstate lockup by the Bureau of Prisons, which has expanded authority to release prisoners to home confinement because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Democratic State Assemblywoman Yuh Line Niou, who succeeded Silver in his Lower East Side seat, said no prisoner should face a death sentence because of the coronavirus.
“No New Yorker should die from the pandemic in jail. I know he is in the high risk population as he is 77 and has pre-existing conditions and we should be taking steps for all incarcerated New Yorkers in at risk populations to be safe from covid,” she said.
Republican state Sen. Jim Tedisco added that he would like to show compassion for everyone, including Silver.
“I know my constituents like to see justice done. And I think justice has been proven. There’s an opportunity to show some compassion for somebody who may be in a very difficult strait health wise,” he said.
Silver — who has served less than a year of his 6 1/2-year sentence — was cut loose from Otisville Prison, in Orange County, New York, and released to his home on furlough, while awaiting a decision on whether he’ll be able to serve out his whole term in home confinement.
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