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By Patricia Hurtado, Bloomberg News (TNS)

NEW YORK — New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver surrendered to the FBI in lower Manhattan Thursday, where he was placed under arrest, according to people familiar with the investigation.

Sheldon Silver faces corruption charges linked to payments from a law firm that specializes in seeking reductions of real estate taxes, the New York Times reported.

The Times, citing people with knowledge of the investigation, said details on the charges or total amounts of payments weren’t clear.

The arrest of Silver, who has been speaker for more than two decades, would likely throw the state capital of Albany into disarray at the beginning of a new session of the assembly, according to the Times. State lawmakers who are arrested can continue in their job, although they are required to leave office if convicted of a felony.

Silver, 70, a Democrat, was in Albany on Wednesday where he attended Governor Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State address and had a prominent seat on the stage, the Times said. It’s not clear where Silver, who is from Manhattan, would be taken into custody, the newspaper said.

Officials with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the office of Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney in Manhattan, didn’t immediately respond to phone messages from Bloomberg News seeking comment.

Michael Whyland, a spokesman for Silver, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Times named Joel Cohen as Silver’s lawyer. The attorney couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Silver failed to list payments from the law firm Goldberg & Iryami on his annual financial disclosure filings with the state, as required, the Times said.

Last month, Silver didn’t respond to questions about the investigation or his relationship with Goldberg & Iryami, including how he had been paid by the firm, when the payments began and what work he did, the Times said. In the past, he has maintained that he had properly disclosed all of his income, the newspaper said.

Silver took home at least an additional $650,000 as an attorney with the firm Weitz & Luxenberg, according to his 2013 financial-disclosure filings.
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Bloomberg reporter Freeman Klopott in Albany contributed to this report.

Photo: Azi Paybarah via Flickr

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

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