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Speaker Convicted on All Counts Faces 130 Years

Bill Britt

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By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—New York State Speaker, Sheldon Silver, was convicted on all seven criminal public corruption charges on Monday. The 71 year-old strongman of New York politics faces 130 years for his corruption schemes, from which he netted an estimated $4 million in payoffs.

The Silver case is perhaps a dark omen of things to come for indicted Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard, who, if convicted on all 23 counts of public corruption, could face hundreds of years in state prison.

Unlike Hubbard, a media firestorm in the Empire State led to Silver stepping down from his leadership post. In the Heart of Dixie, most in the media came to the party late for fear of Hubbard’s retribution and political leadership was shamefully quiet.

Unlike Silver, Hubbard went on the offensive and successfully launched a PR campaign that painted Attorney General Luther Strange as a political rival bent on his destruction. The judge in his case has mostly granted all of the defense’s requests, no matter how trivial. The Manhattan Federal court did not show Silver the least bit of deference in his pre-trial motions. The jury deliberated fewer than three days before finding Silver guilty of all charges.

US Attorney, Preet Bharara, said in a press statement, ”Today, Sheldon Silver got justice, and at long last, so did the people of New York.”

Alabamians will have to wait another four to five months before Hubbard’s verdict is handed down, also most almost a year and half after he was indicted.

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Bill Britt is editor-in-chief at the Alabama Political Reporter and host of The Voice of Alabama Politics. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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