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Once-Powerful Dem Lawmaker Begins Corruption Sentence After Years of Dodging Prison

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Former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, once one of the most powerful politicians in the state, started his prison sentence on Wednesday.

Silver, 76, reported to a federal prison in Otisville, New York, about 80 miles from New York City, according to a statement from the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

He was sentenced earlier this year to 6 1/2 years behind bars in a corruption case.

Silver’s lawyers declined comment on Wednesday.

The Democrat was ousted as speaker in 2015 and convicted later that year, but appeals had kept him out of prison.

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His conviction in federal court in Manhattan was overturned on appeal before he was convicted again in 2018.

Part of that conviction was then tossed out on another appeal, leading to yet another sentencing in July in which he asked a judge not to let him die in prison.

But District Judge Valerie Caproni said she had no option but to finally punish him for what she called “corruption, pure and simple.”

“His time has come,” Caproni said. “He needs to go to jail.”

Silver was convicted in a scheme that involved favors and business traded between two real estate developers and a law firm. He supported legislation in Albany that benefited the developers, who then referred certain tax business to a law firm that paid him fees.

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