Cancer researcher says Sheldon Silver made him “terrified and confused”

Sheldon Silver
Former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver arrives to the courthouse for his corruption trial in New York, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015. The 71-year-old Manhattan Democrat was arrested in January on charges he took nearly $4 million in kickbacks. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

NEW YORK (AP) — A cancer researcher testifying at the bribery trial of former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has told a jury how federal agents made him “terrified and confused” before he decided to cooperate.

Dr. Robert Taub detailed Thursday how investigators appeared unannounced at his door at 6 a.m. one day last year for questioning.

He says he was so shaken he lied by telling them he never referred asbestos cancer patients to Silver’s personal injury law firm. He says he later changed his story to avoid prosecution for making false statements and agreed to testify.

Prosecutors say that in exchange for the referrals Silver channeled $500,000 in state grants to Taub’s research cancer project.

Silver is a Manhattan Democrat. He has pleaded not guilty. His lawyers say prosecutors are unfairly going after him for common practices.

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