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Silver Earned Between $350k and $450k From Private Law Firm

8:50 AM, Jul 4, 2013   |    comments
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By Joseph Spector and Jon Campbell
Albany Bureau

ALBANY Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, earned between $350,000 and $450,000 in 2012 from a powerful Manhattan law firm that specializes in public-injury law, disclosure forms from the state released Wednesday showed.

Silver is "of counsel" at the law firm Weitz & Luxenberg, and he also owned a variety of stocks and investment holdings. He earned between $150,000 to $250,000 in the sale of stock from Ford Motor Co., the records showed.

Silver's filing highlighted the disclosure of state lawmakers, who under a 2011 law had to reveal for the first time the range of money they made from their outside business interests. Before this year, they had to report their incomes, but the information was redacted from the public.

"These new disclosures represent a substantial leap in transparency for New York State as the curtain is pulled back on the values of our public officials' outside financial interests," said Daniel Horwitz, chairman of the state Joint Commission on Public Ethics.

Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos, R-Nassau County, reported making between $150,000 and $250,000 a year at a Long Island law firm, Ruskin Moscou Faltischek.

Lawmakers have faced criticism for their outside business interests, and the Legislature is technically considered a part-time body. Silver, in particular, has been accused of blocking tort reform because of his ties to the law firm.

Senate Co-Leader Jeffrey Klein, D-Bronx, reported between $57,001 and $106,000 in outside income from three jobs: a partner in his own law firm; a senior lecturer at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, Westchester County; and legal work he performed for New York City firm Jacob Oresky & Associates.

The bulk of his outside income -- between $51,001 and $80,100 -- came from his law firm, according to Klein's filing. Klein represents parts of lower Westchester County.

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