New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio defended embattled Democratic New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver on Thursday telling reporters he thought the 71 year old was a “man of integrity.”
“Although the charges announced today are certainly very serious, I want to note that I’ve always known Shelly Silver to be a man of integrity, and he certainly has due process rights. And I think it’s important that we let the judicial process play out here,” said de Blasio.
Although Silver is charged with five counts of corruption, which include charges that allege Silver banked around $4 million in bribes and kickbacks over the years in return for wielding his political power in Albany, de Blasio said the charges against the powerful assembly speaker are far different from the ones former New York Republican congressman Michael Grimm was hit with.
“I think in Michael Grimm’s case, we saw a pattern of questionable practices over a long period of time, and it played out. I think, in my experience with Shelly Silver, I’ve seen integrity and public service,” de Blasio said.
After his arrest Thursday morning by federal authorities, Silver was released on $200,000 bond, telling reporters he will “be vindicated.”