In an exclusive article NY Post exposes: Three of powerful Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s adult children remained registered to vote in their father’s Lower East Side district long after moving out, The Post has learned.
And they continued to vote for years at the same Delancey Street polling place as their parents — presumably pulling the lever for Papa in his re-election bids — even when, as in the case of one child, they lived out of state.
Two of the children — Edward Silver, 43, and Michelle Trebitsch, 34 — are registered at the family apartment at 550 Grand St. But Trebitsch has lived in Brooklyn for a dozen years, and Edward Silver bought a home in Cedarhurst, LI, in July 2010.
Silver’s youngest, Esther Fried, 30, owned a co-op at 577 Grand St., where she registered to vote. Fried and her husband, Ben, sold the apartment in May 2005 and bought a home in Clifton, NJ.
But the New Jerseyan continued to vote at Delancey Street — six times between September 2005 and September 2009 in primary, general and runoff elections, public records show.
“That’s a real problem,” said Marty Connor, a former state senator and leading election-law attorney, who was speaking generally and not about the Silver ballots. “You have to vote where you have a residence. If you have no residence, then that’s a crime.”
Connor said such behavior is at least a misdemeanor and could be classified as a felony in some cases.
In a famous 1997 case, Brooklyn lawyer and perennial political candidate John O’Hara was convicted of felony counts of illegal voting and false voter registration after using his girlfriend’s address, despite having his own home.
Records do not show for whom the Silver children cast their ballots, but the speaker certainly didn’t need the help; he ran unopposed in 2010.
Silver’s office defended the voter registrations.
“The election law is clear that voters have wide latitude to vote from the residence they choose, so long as they are not dually registered. They all vote from only one place, and under New York law that is clearly legal,” said Silver spokesman Michael Whyland.
But state election law defines a residence as “that place where a person maintains a fixed, permanent and principal home and to which he, wherever temporarily located, always intends to return.”
The Silver children clearly made homes elsewhere.
Public records show Trebitsch and her family have rented an apartment in a multifamily home in Midwood since 2000. She apparently files her taxes using that address, because the state Tax Department and the IRS filed tax liens against her there, records show.
Trebitsch was dropped off at the house last week after a shopping trip. She came outside, past a children’s bicycle on the front porch, to fix the bags in the garbage cans.
When a reporter asked why she still used the Grand Street address to vote when she lives in Brooklyn, she said, “I don’t officially live here, either.”
She declined to say where she “officially” lived.
“I don’t own a house here,” she said, before telling a young girl on the steps to return to the house and rushing inside.
Edward Silver voted in Manhattan in November 2010, after buying his Long Island home a few months earlier. He is still registered at the Grand Street apartment.
Neither Edward Silver nor Esther Fried returned requests for comment.
Silver’s older daughter, Janine, 41, is also registered at her parents’ apartment, and apparently still lives there.