Sheldon Silver was at one point in time one of the most powerful politicians in the State of New York. That might be expected as speaker of the New York State Assembly. But even by those standards, he wielded an above-average amount of control over governmental goings-on. Perhaps too much, at least some seem to think.

Maybe not surprisingly for a politician who took so much power, Silver got himself into serious trouble—eventually landing him at a federal prison in Otisville, New York. But his stay there has been, at least temporarily, cut short, according to Yahoo and WCTI.

Released on furlough due to COVID-19

Sheldon Silver has been released from prison to a state of home confinement. Silver becomes one of several inmates at the Otisville federal prison to be released early in recent times. The reason being the COVID-19 pandemic and the rapid rate the disease can spread through a prison setting.

Among the other inmates was Michael Cohen, former personal attorney to Donald Trump. It was determined that Cohen could serve out the rest of his prison sentence under house arrest. A similar situation is apparently under consideration for Silver.

It had been projected that Silver would be imprisoned until 2026. A representative for him has argued that it would be too dangerous for him to return to prison during the pandemic.

He was citing his age and pre-existing medical conditions. Silver was reportedly taken to his residence in a wheelchair.

Sheldon Silver was originally convicted on seven charges of corruption in 2015. The conviction meant he was automatically expelled from the Assembly. Silver pushed legislation that would benefit certain real estate developers.

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Those same real estate developers sent business to a law firm that Silver worked for. He would then receive extra fees.

The initial conviction was later overturned. But a 2018 retrial resulted in another guilty conviction. Another appeal resulted in the dismissal of the conviction on three of the charges, but the others were upheld.

Silver finally reported to the Otisville prison in 2020.

Silver has also been accused of other crimes related to corruption. But he has not been formally charged in those instances.

Was speaker of the Assembly for longer than 20 years

A Democrat, Sheldon Silver was first elected to the New York State Assembly in 1976. Throughout his Assembly career, he was elected from four different districts at different times.

In 1994, Assembly Speaker Saul Weprin died of a stroke. Silver was chosen as his successor and held the position until his expulsion from the Assembly after his guilty conviction. Carl Heastie would be named the new speaker.