By Tom Precious
ALBANY – Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver could not say if there will be any bitter feelings by Assembly Democrats directed at Gov. Andrew Cuomo over the Moreland Commission’s ongoing probe of state lawmakers.
"I can’t tell you at this time,’’ Silver said when asked if the governor’s Moreland panel investigation directed at legislators will lead to a lasting bad taste for lawmakers as the 2014 session nears its start next month.
“I really don’t know,’’ he added.
“We never had a conference about it so I can’t gauge that discussion right now. I think as we come back next year you’ll get a better feel of what’s involved,’’ Silver said after attending an economic development ceremony in Albany at which Cuomo praised the Manhattan Democrat's leadership.
After some high-profile controversies, including the secret settlement of a sexual harassment case involving a former Brooklyn lawmaker and the arrest of the husband of his closest adviser on kickback charges, Silver enters the 2014 session with some bruises. But he said he feels secure in his job.
“As strong as the members want it to be,’’ he said when asked how strong he feels in his post. “I serve at the pleasure of the members. I think I have the support of all the members and we go from here.’’
Newsday reported this afternoon that a Long Island insurance executive pleaded guilty to grand larceny and money laundering in connection with a scandal at the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, which had been headed by William Rapfogel until his arrest earlier this year. Rapfogel is the husband of Judy Rapfogel, Silver’s longtime adviser; Silver and the couple have been friends for decades. William Rapfogel is accused of steering some of the money he allegedly embezzled to New York City politicians.
Newsday reported that the terms of the plea deal with Joseph Ross, the insurance executive, have been sealed.