Sheldon Silver, the former New York state assembly speaker, submitted his pension application papers the day after he was convicted of seven felonies in federal court this week, reports Syracuse.com. Under New York law, convicted public officials can keep their public pensions. The Empire Center, a government watchdog in Albany, has calculated that Silver’s annual pension could be as high as $98,000, or about $8,000 a month.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the legislature have struck a deal to end the pension quirk, but it requires a change in the state constitution that may take a year and would not apply to Silver. It wasn’t clear when Silver might get his first pension check. The state comptroller’s office must first review the application. Silver, 71, took home a government paycheck for more than four decades. He was convicted of taking $4 million in kickbacks. Facing prison time, he has begun appeals.