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Thursday, January 22, 2015

ALBANY — The longest standing of Albany's "three men in a room" is facing corruption charges today, according to downstate media reports.

The New York Times broke the story overnight that Sheldon Silver, the leader of the Assembly Democrats, will be charged over payments he received from a special interest group. The payments were not listed on his annual disclosure reports, the story says.

The investigation into Silver's alleged wrongdoings began following the conclusion of the Moreland Commission, which Gov. Andrew Cuomo shut down, saying it had done its job — despite the fact that those doing the investigating felt it was just getting started.

The Moreland Commission hit home last year when another downstate media entity published a report that State Sen. George D. Maziarz had spent more than $140,000 of campaign funds over the six-year period without specifying what the money was spent on — more than any other member of the state Senate or Assembly, as well as $67,000 of charges and expenditures to Chase and Chase Card Services,” listed as "office" expenses.

Maziarz told East Niagara Post at the time that the Moreland Commission had not interviewed him. "We have followed all campaign laws, reported all expenditures and have always been very transparent," the Newfane Republican said via press release in May.

Niagara County Democratic Chairman Nick Forster said in July that he believed the Moreland Commission documents led to Maziarz announced retirement.

UPDATE: Silver was arrested this morning on corruption charges.


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