For Silver, a typical Lunar New Year, but with first signs of change in his office

Assemblymember Sheldon Silver, center, marching in Chinatown's Lunar New Year parade Sunday. At far left is Councilmember Margaret Chin and at far right is State Sen. Daniel Squadon. Leaning in: Assemblymember David Weprin, and at back left: Public Advocate Letitia James. Downtown Express photo by Milo Hess.

Assemblymember Sheldon Silver, center, marching in Chinatown’s Lunar New Year parade Sunday. At far left is Councilmember Margaret Chin and at far right is State Sen. Daniel Squadon. Leaning in: Assemblymember David Weprin, and at back left: Public Advocate Letitia James. Downtown Express photo by Milo Hess.

By JOSH ROGERS (Updated 2:50 p.m. Feb. 23, 2015) | Assemblymember Sheldon Silver marched Sunday in Chinatown’s Lunar New Year parade as he usually does, and there appeared to be no signs that he is under federal indictment accused of illegally taking in nearly $4 million in kickbacks and other schemes.

Two attendees told Downtown Express that they did not hear any heckles or criticism directed at Silver. One said he heard a few calls of “good luck.”

The former speaker walked with other politicians waving to the crowd.

“I’m thrilled to be here with you here today to celebrate this occasion,” he said, according to The Lo-Down, a Lower East Side blog. “I am honored to continue to represent this Chinatown community.”

Others joining Silver included city Public Advocate Letitia James as well as two Downtown pols — State Sen. Daniel Squadron and Councilmember Margaret Chin.

Silver was forced to give up his Assembly speaker position last month after U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara announced the accusations.

He maintains he will be vindicated and continues to represent his Lower Manhattan district.

One staff member has just left, but there appear to be no other departures so far.

Jason Fink, who was Silver’s communications coordinator, started a new job as deputy press secretary with the city’s Dept. of Education Mon., Feb. 23.

Fink will focus on some of the same education issues he had been handling under Silver, most particularly efforts to build new schools.

One source in Silver’s office said the assumption is that the former speaker will be asked to downsize his office and move, but it’s not clear when that will be. Another source not connected to Silver said, not surprisingly,  at least a few other staffers are looking for new jobs.

The parade was Silver’s second public event in his Lower Manhattan district since the event. The first was last Thursday to celebrate the actual start of the Lunar New Year with the Chinese Consolidate Benevolent Association on Mott St.

UPDATE:

In reaction to this article, Silver’s office sent a new comment reiterating his intent to represent the district well.

“I remain committed to continuing to tackle and have a positive impact on the issues that affect Lower Manhattan and to make this community an ever more desirable place to live, work and raise a family,” Silver said in his statement.  “My staff and I are on hand to offer the same level of dedicated representation.”

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