Former New York Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver. (via Flickr)

Hillary Clinton has credited Sheldon Silver, a longtime New York Assembly speaker, for encouraging her political career. On Tuesday, he was handed a 12-year prison sentence for participating in “a two-track corruption scheme that netted him an estimated $4 million in bribes and kickbacks disguised as legal fees.” The Times Union reports:

In documents submitted last month, prosecutors requested that Silver be sent away for a “greater than any sentence imposed on other New York State legislators convicted of public corruption offenses.” The state record public corruption sentence length belongs to former Assemblyman William Boyland Jr., who received 14 years in prison following his 2015 conviction on bribery charges.

Silver’s attorneys had sought a sentence below federal guidelines, “possibly coupled with home confinement and community service.”

Silver was forced to resign after his arrest in January 2015. At the time of his resignation, he’d had the second-longest tenure in the New York Assembly.

The website Veterans for Bernie details the lengthy relationship between Clinton and Silver, noting that she used his office to lobby other New York lawmakers. Although she called him a “great partner” in 2008, she has avoided association with him throughout her current presidential campaign.

Silver, who has led the Democratic delegation at past Democratic National Conventions, resigned from his position as superdelegate several months ago. The state’s Democratic Party will apparently replace him sometime this month.

–Posted by Emma Niles

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