Lo-Down: Coop entangled in Silver’s woes

Assemblyman Sheldon Silver’s upcoming trial on federal corruption charges continues to raise questions about whether East River and Hillman are entangled in the charges against him.

Sheldon SilverSilver’s lawyers are trying to prevent evidence from being presented that would show Silver using his allegedly corrupt relationship with tax certiorari lawyer Arthur Goldberg to benefit Coop Village. (See the article in the Lo-Down.)

Goldberg — who has represented Hillman and East River for many years — is at the crux of one of the bribery and extortion schemes the U.S. Attorney is trying to pin on Silver. Goldberg’s firm allegedly sent kickbacks to Silver for work done on behalf of Glenwood Management, a major real estate player in New York City looking to curry favor with Silver.

In February, right after the charges against Silver were made public, I asked East River board president Gary Altman to clear the air about our coop’s relationship with Goldberg, and invited him to reassure cooperators that no past or present members of East River’s board or management had received kickbacks for our business with Goldberg’s firm. I have sent that question to Altman several more times during the past few months, but have not received any reply.

It may be that we’ll have to wait for answers until November 2 — that’s when Silver’s trial is set to begin.