Federal authorities are investigating substantial payments made to the State Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver, by a small law firm that seeks real estate tax reductions for commercial and residential properties in New York City, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
Prosecutors from the United States attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York and agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation have found that the law firm, Goldberg & Iryami, P.C., has paid Mr. Silver the sums over roughly a decade, but that he did not list that income on his annual financial disclosure forms, as required, the people said.
The prosecutors, from the office of the United States attorney, Preet Bharara, and the F.B.I. agents were seeking to determine precisely what Mr. Silver, a Manhattan Democrat, has been doing for the payments, the people said. Spokesmen for the F.B.I. and Mr. Bharara’s office declined to comment.
Part-time work by legislators has long been a focus of federal investigators because corrupt lawmakers have used payments for ostensible part-time jobs or consulting work to mask political payoffs. It has also been a source of concern among government watchdog groups because of the potential for conflicts of interest.