ALBANY—As the State Senate debated — and just voted to approve — the nomination of Jonathan Lippman as chief judge of the Court of Appeals, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was giving a slideshow presentation about the state's worsening deficit.
Silver said he was "very proud that a longtime friend of mine has risen in his chosen field to be, conceivably, the top judge in the state."
Lippman's connections to Silver have been raised — most recently by the Village Voice — since he was nominated by David Paterson to be the chief judge.
"I am very proud of my friend, that's the best thing I can tell you about it," Silver said. "And I don't think there's anything in that article that I am not proud of."
Silver outlined new analysis by his conference which projects a $14 billion budget deficit for the coming year, not a $13 billion deficit as Governor Paterson has said.