Law firm at center of Sheldon Silver investigation services controversial clients [Updated]

By LOUIS FLORES

One day following a bombshell report in The New York Times that federal investigators are probing previously undisclosed income earned by New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) over the course of about a decade, new reports surfaced, showing that the law firm at the center of the investigation services the state's most prolific campaign contributor and individuals, who have close, personal ties to Speaker Silver.

The web of these relationships grow ever more complicated.

  • Leonard Litwin, a real estate developer who is perhaps the state's most prolific campaign contributor, is a client (through a web of limited liability companies controlled by Glenwood Management Corp.) of the controversial law firm, Goldberg & Iryami, P.C., that is at the center of a federal investigation into a secret stream of payments made to Speaker Silver, according to a report in Capital New York.  Mr. Litwin's use of a series of limited liability companies to skirt state campaign finance regulations make him a poster child for what is called the LLC loophole  ;
  • New York City landlord Baruch Singer is also a client of Goldberg & Iryami through various properties he owns.  Mr. Singer and his father, Rabbi Yitzchok Singer, are personally known to Speaker Silver.  The younger Mr. Singer has a history of housing violations.  Speaker Silver is a congregant at Bialystoker Synagogue, where the elder Mr. Singer is a rabbi, according to a further report by The New York Times ; and
  • Two controversial former state legislators, Nicholas Spano and Carl Andrews, have individually been employed to do lobbying work on behalf of Glenwood Management, according to a report on Daily Kos.  Both Mr. Spano and Mr. Andrews have a longterm relationship with former Kings County Democratic Party chair Clarence Norman, himself a controversial political figure, who served time in prison for corruption.  

Since Progress Queens' report on Tuesday, a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney's Office for New York's southern district refused to comment, citing the office's policy of neither confirming nor denying investigations.

Speaker Silver did not answer questions presented to him by Progress Queens.

Requests for information and comment were made too late to Goldberg & Iryami to allow for an immediate response, but any information received will appear in an update by Progress Queens.  

Reminder of the array of law firms involved in either fighting the Moreland Commission subpoenas or in the legal defense work in response to the federal criminal investigations launched by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, after his office seized the unfinished investigation files of the Moreland Commission :