- Associated Press - Friday, July 3, 2015

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is declining to report his outside income on a state disclosure form, citing federal charges that he collected nearly $4 million in kickbacks.

The Manhattan Democrat did not include information about income from his legal practice on the mandatory disclosure forms, which were filed in May but made publicly available this week.

“Given pending proceedings in federal court it is inappropriate to answer this question; however, this answer will be amended upon completion of the proceedings,” Silver wrote on the forms.

Silver has said he is not guilty of charges that he used his former position to obtain clients and kickbacks disguised as legal fees.

Former Senate Leader Dean Skelos, a Long Island Republican, is fighting unrelated charges that he traded his influence in exchange for payments and a job for his son.

On his disclosure form, Skelos reported making between $150,000 and $250,000 from his law firm last year even though he reports providing no direct services to clients.

Skelos maintains his innocence and is fighting the charges.

Silver and Skelos were ousted from their leadership positions this year after being charged by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. They are both keeping their legislative seats as they fight the allegations.

Silver’s replacement as speaker, Bronx Democrat Carl Heastie, listed only a modest non-governmental income of between $1,000 and $5,000 from his adjunct teaching position at Monroe College. He also listed between $30,000 and $90,000 in credit card debt and other liabilities.

New Senate Leader John Flanagan, a Long Island Republican, listed compensation in the amount of $100,000 to $150,000 from his law practice as well as a personal loan of between $20,000 and $50,000 “for college and home improvements.”

Lawmakers are required to periodically file the disclosure forms, which include their income and liabilities using broad ranges of numbers.

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