Silver trial starts next week — questions about Coop Village involvement still unanswered

Sheldon SilverAssemblyman Sheldon Silver’s trial on federal corruption charges starts Monday. Silver was arrested in January on counts of fraud, bribery, and extortion. The trial is sure to make headlines for weeks, and even some of our neighbors will be called to the witness stand.

Maybe we’ll finally get an answer about East River’s involvement in Silver’s alleged kickback scheme — since our board president Gary Altman continues to ignore the question. News reports continue to surface about the Coop’s tax certiorari lawyer, Arthur Goldberg, along with allegations that Silver steered business his way in exchange for kickbacks.

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I sent Altman a letter again this month, asking him to clear the air. Goldberg has been our lawyer for years. Was Silver getting kickbacks for the work? Did anyone on our board or in the management office have a side agreement with Goldberg? Hopefully the answer is a simple no — but why has Altman refused to answer?

The Hillman board voted to sever ties with Goldberg this year. East River did not, and has continued to retain him. If Gary Altman, as president of the board, thinks there’s nothing fishy about our relationship with Goldberg, why not just say so?