New York State (AP) – Sheldon Silver, a former president of the New York General Assembly, has been released from a federal prison in Furlough while awaiting possible home reception, a person familiar with the case told the Associated Press.
Silver, 77, served more than six years in prison in August, at Otisville Prison in New York, after years behind the corruption case.
He was released into his home while awaiting the final decision on whether he could spend the remainder of his sentence there locked up at home, he said. The person was not authorized to discuss the matter in public and spoke anonymously to the AP on Tuesday.
The Federal Office of Prisons did not provide details or reasons for the transfer, but Congress extended its powers to the Department of Justice at the time of the coronavirus epidemic. to release detainees in and out of the house to prevent the virus from being caught behind bars.
A spokesman for the Manhattan U.S. law firm against Silver said he sent an email to the Prisons Bureau on Monday to oppose his fur coat.
The attorneys who represented Silver at trial and on appeal either said they no longer represented him or did not respond to emails and voicemails.
Several other prisoners in Otisville, including former President Donald Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, they serve their sentences at home because of the epidemic.
In a statement, the Prisons Office noted that it could temporarily move detainees to their home in Furlough while thinking of closing their homes or placing them halfway.
Silver, a Manhattan Democrat, was once one of New York’s three strongest government officials. He was head of the General Assembly for more than two decades before his sudden expulsion in 2015, following allegations of corruption.
He was eventually convicted in a system that involved a kind of illegal scraping that had long plagued Albany. He supported legislation that favored real estate developers he knew. In return, they referred a tax transaction to a law firm that employed Silver, which then paid him fees.
Because of the appeals, Silver was not in prison for years. His original 2015 verdict was overturned on appeal before being convicted again in 2018. Part of that verdict was appealed in another appeal, which resulted in another verdict in July.
At the time of the verdict, Silver’s lawyers pleaded with the court to allow him to serve his sentence at home, indoors, rather than in prison because he was in danger of concluding COVID-19’s death. A judge refused.
The Prisons Office is relocating some inmates in order to get those who are expected to go through homes out of correctional facilities sooner.
According to statistics from the Prisons Bureau, more than 7,000 federal inmates remain at home. The agency has released nearly 25,000 prisoners since March last year amid the coronavirus epidemic.
According to the office’s guidelines, the closure of a home is given priority to prisoners who have served half of their sentence or to prisoners of 18 months or less who have completed at least 25% of their time. But the office may consider who can be released.
In January, the Department of Justice issued a reminder that the Prisons Bureau may need to return some extended home detainees to prison after the expiration of the coronavir emergency period set by Congress.
Silver’s attorneys have argued that their client should be kept locked up at home because they are considered at high risk for a coronavirus because of their age and pre-existing medical condition.
Silver, who was elected to the General Assembly in 1977 and became president in 1994, is expected to be released from federal custody in 2026.
New York journalist reporters Larry Neumeister and Tom Hays contributed to the report.