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Sheldon Silver judge considers political corruption sentences

In this Nov. 24, 2015, file photo, former

In this Nov. 24, 2015, file photo, former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver arrives at a courthouse in New York City. Silver, who was convicted of fraud and extortion, was disbarred Tuesday, March 29, 2016, by the Appellate Division of the state Supreme Court in Manhattan. Credit: AP / Seth Wenig

The judge who will sentence former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver in April said Thursday she wants to know how much time all other elected officials have gotten for corruption crimes during the past five years.

Manhattan U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni, in a newly filed order, said she needed to consider “unwarranted disparities between similarly situated defendants (i.e., individuals with similar records convicted of similar conduct).”

Caproni asked the government to “include in its sentencing submission a summary chart containing the sentences imposed on elected state and federal officials who were convicted in federal court of corruption-related offenses in the last five years to the extent that information is not unduly burdensome to obtain.”

Silver, 71, was convicted in December of using his power to secure nearly $4 million in referral fees from a law firm that sought property tax reductions from developers and a personal injury firm that represented people suffering from asbestos-related diseases.

He faces up to 130 years in prison for seven felonies, including money laundering, and his sentencing is scheduled for April 13.

In New York, the longest corruption sentence imposed on an Albany politician since 2000 was a 14-year prison term that Brooklyn U.S. District Judge Sandra Townes gave to former Brooklyn Assemb. William Boyland, who was convicted of two different bribe schemes and for collecting $71,000 through phony expense vouchers.

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