The Ghost of Scandals Past: Sheldon Silver’s New Nemesis


I feel like at this point I’ve turned into the DJ 3000 in The Simpsons when it comes to Albany shenanigans. If you’re not totally Simpsons-obsessed, it’s a machine that provides banal DJ banter and one of its quotes is “Those clowns in Congress did it again. What a bunch of clowns.” Today it seems Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s number came up in the potential scandal lottery, right after his rival Joseph Bruno resigned as Senate Majority Leader.

Silver’s scandal surrounds former aide Michael Boxley, who was accused of raping Elizabeth Crothers, a staffer for a Republican assemblyman, back in 2001. Silver chose to back Boxley against the allegations, and Crothers never filed charges. Two years later, another woman pressed rape charges against Boxley. The Silver aide pleaded guilty to a count of misdemeanor sexual misconduct and lost his law license.

Now, Crothers is exacting revenge on Silver, who she claims did nothing about her rape complaint. The Daily News says Crothers feels Silver was “sweeping her 2001 complaint under the rug to protect himself and the assembly.” Crothers is campaigning for Democrat Paul Newell, who is one of two opponents running against Silver in the primary. The News refers to this as a “Silver Bullet.” Crothers feels that if she gets her story out it can, “bring real reform to New York and to unseat one of the worst leaders in the state and quite possibly in the nation,” she tells the Daily News Ouch! At least the News had enough good sense to not add a “woman scorned” reference anywhere.

Silver has since denounced Boxley and apologized for not backing Crothers, but it may be a case of “too little, too late.” Crothers tells the News, “it would have made an enormous difference in my life if he had said [that] seven years ago.”