They're putting him on the shelf.
Over the years tort lawyers Weitz & Luxenberg paid millions to New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, and now it's suspending ties with the disgraced politician who federal prosecutors accuse of taking bribes which were disguised as referral fees through the law firm by an apparently corrupt doctor who wanted state funds for asbestos research as reported by the New York Post:
"We were shocked to learn about the allegations against him of impropriety in the referral of cases to our firm. We have asked Mr. Silver to take a leave of absence until these allegations are resolved," said Perry Weitz, founder and president of Weitz & Luxenberg.
It's so sad when a law firm gets duped by a trusted colleague.
Remember class action kingpin Mel Weiss from Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman LLP who was convicted on a racketeering charge for his role in a decades-long scheme in which serial plaintiffs were paid kickbacks out of the attorneys' fees for filing their shareholder lawsuits? Sanford Dumain said the law firm's remaining partners previously believed shyster Mel's earlier assurances of innocence, and now suffer "deep disappointment" over his "misconduct" as reported by Martha Neil for the ABA Journal. The firm itself avoided prosecution after paying a $75 million fine and employing a compliance monitor for two years, and in regard to that settlement Mr. Dumain said "we can now say to courts and clients that we are not a firm under indictment" as reported by Ashby Jones for The Wall Street Journal: "we needed an understanding from the government that no one currently at the firm had any knowledge of the wrongdoing." So what then was the need for a compliance monitor? Perhaps operating under the trust-but-verify principle.
Sheldon Silver's predecessor as Assembly Speaker and his longtime mentor was Saul Weprin. One of Saul's sons is Milberg partner Barry Weprin, and another is Queens politician David Weprin.
David Weprin now is an assemblyman but during his years on the City Council sponsored $700,000 in discretionary funds to the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty which was headed by Silver pal William Rapfogel. Last year Rapfogel pleaded guilty to stealing millions from the Met Council as then reported by Shayna Jacobs for the Daily News:
He and his cronies inflated insurance payments they claimed Met Council owed and pocketed the difference with the help of an insurance man, he admitted. Some of those funds were used to donate to politicians' campaigns to gain support for the charity, but there is no indication any of the public officials knew the money was tainted.
From 2004 through 2009 when he was a councilman Weprin's campaign committee "received eight checks totaling $4,950" from employees with the insurance provider but neither the politician nor those employees are accused of any wrongdoing as reported by the Daily News.
Meanwhile, one can only pity Judy Rapfogel who is the wife of convicted felon William Rapfogel and the chief of staff for indicted politician Sheldon Silver.
What an incestuous world.
Further reading that may be of interest: