Assembly speaker's outside salary at private law firm soars

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Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver attends the State of

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver attends the State of the State address at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in Albany on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014. Photo Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

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ALBANY -- Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's earnings at a private law firm rose significantly in 2013, according to newly filed financial disclosures.

Silver (D-Manhattan) was paid between $650,000 and $750,000 as an attorney at Weitz and Luxenberg, a large personal injury firm in Manhattan. In 2012, Silver reported getting between $350,000 to $450,000 from the law firm.

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Combined with other legal work and investments, Silver received between $785,000 and $1.015 million in 2013.

State legislators, who are considered part-time, are allowed to draw outside incomes that must be disclosed annually. The state's Joint Commission on Public Ethics published Silver's filing online Wednesday along with those of other state legislators. Lawmakers must report an income range from each source rather than a precise amount.

Senate co-leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) reported earning $150,000 to $250,000 as counsel at Uniondale law firm Ruskin, Moscou and Faltischek, the same amount he reported a year earlier.

In addition to his law firm salary, Skelos and his wife, Gail, who draws a state pension, reported receiving between $81,000 and $130,000 in outside income.

The other Senate co-leader, Jeff Klein (D-Bronx), reported making between $75,000 and $100,000 as partner in the Klein, Calderon and Santucci law firm. Klein said he received between $10,000 and $42,000 for other legal work and teaching at Mercy College.

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Statewide officials reported outside income when disclosing their income tax filings in April. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo reported receiving $188,333 as the first advance for a book he is writing about being governor.

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