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Speak out on Silver’s apparent conflict

As a retired police officer and member of Community Board 11, I want to express my indignation over state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's (D-Manhattan) ongoing relationship with New York's largest personal injury law firm, Weitz & Luxenberg.

Silver, a founder of the firm, has remained "of counsel" throughout his time in the state Assembly, refusing to disclose his salary or clients, according to the New York Post. He has consistently opposed efforts to implement tort reform so plaintiffs' lawyers do not abuse the court system.

Meanwhile, Queens state Assembly members have been silent concerning Silver's conflict of interest. Silver, with the acquiescence of state Senate Minority Leader Malcolm Smith (D-St. Albans), picked a partner in Silver's own law firm, Arthur Luxenberg, to serve on a 13-member judicial screening commission that recommends judicial candidates for the state Appellate Division, Court of Claims and Supreme Court.

I call on Queens state Assembly members to finally speak out against this conflict of interest. They may see Silver as their legislative boss, but they need to remember that they are still answerable to Queens voters and taxpayers.

Rob Speranza

Assembly candidate, Bayside

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