Albany politicians beware, US Attorney Preet Bharara is still on the prowl.
At a Thursday press conference announcing charges against State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, one of the most powerful people in New York politics, Bharara ominously warned that more corruption charges are likely to come.
“These charges in our view go to the very core of what ails Albany: lack of transparency, lack of accountability, and lack of principle — joined with overabundance of greed, cronyism, and self-dealing. But we will keep at it,” Bharara said. “As our unfinished fight against public corruption continues, you should stay tuned.”
However, when he was pressed for additional details about potential future cases, Bharara insisted he was being intentionally vague.
“We have been looking at Speaker Silver’s outside income for some period of time. … We have number of public corruption investigations going on,” he said. “I’m not going to tell you which people we’re looking at.”
Earlier in the day, Silver was taken into federal custody and accused of abusing his power in order to benefit real estate developers and law firms that paid him millions.
Silver is just one of many politicians arrested on federal corruption charges in recent years and multiple sitting lawmakers are currently awaiting trials. Bharara has even reportedly investigated New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) for abruptly quashing his own anticorruption commission last summer. Bharara seized the files of that commission and said he used them to aid his own investigations — including the one that led to the charges against Silver.
Bharara issued a similar “stay tuned” warning when asked about additional corruption indictments two years ago.
“We investigate cases very aggressively, and we are going to continue to do that, whether the legislature is in session or not,” he said then. “You can expect more cases to come, because there is a lot more corruption that has not yet been brought to light.”
Silver’s office did not respond to a request for comment from Business Insider on the charges.
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