Thursday, January 22, 2015

Albany - Corrupt Yet Again

WaPo reported:

Federal agents on Thursday arrested powerful New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D) on federal corruption charges, stemming from payments he received from two New York City law firms.

Silver is charged with five counts of fraud and conspiracy, according to court documents filed Wednesday. Prosecutors allege he used his position to take more than $6 million in bribes and kickbacks.

“The show-me-the-money culture of Albany has been perpetuated and promoted at the very top of the political food chain. And as the charges also show, the greedy art of secret self-reward was practiced with particular cleverness and cynicism by the Speaker himself,” Bharara said. “Politicians are supposed to be on the people’s payroll, not on secret retainer to wealthy special interests they do favors for. 

Five years ago The Carlyle Group settled with the New York Attorney General for $20 million for paying agents to land state pension fund investments.  That settlement (and promise to behave better) stated:

The announcement arises from a two-year, ongoing investigation into corruption involving the New York State Comptroller’s Office and the Fund. The charges to date allege a complex criminal scheme involving numerous individuals operating at the highest political and governmental levels under former Comptroller Alan Hevesi, in which the New York state pension fund was used as a piggy bank for the Comptroller’s chief political aide and a favor bank for political allies and other friends

Cuomo and Carlyle co-founder David Rubenstein can chuckle over old times at the World Economic Forum in Davos.  What favors are being banked betwixt and between the jet set in Davos?  It's where deals get done.