New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's office has dropped a request for a correction from The New York Times in connection to a decades-old development project.
The Times said it had documents that showed Silver pushed city officials in the 1970s to allow a mall to be built on a large swath of land in his district on Manhattan's Lower East Side instead of low-income housing.
The assemblyman's office backed down from a request for a correction after seeing the documents, the Times said. But his spokesman, Michael Whyland, said Silver was never a lawyer for the nonprofit United Jewish Council that tried to block the low-income housing.
The lawyer for the group, Whyland said, was a man with a similar name — Sheldon E. Silver, a Minneapolis-born lawyer who moved to Brooklyn in the 1970s and died in 2001.
Silver told a state Democratic Party convention breakfast Thursday that he "was forever confused" with Sheldon E. Silver, the newspaper said.
Whyland told the Times it was not surprising that the assemblyman worked with the UJC, a "major community group in his district many times over 40 years in office."
"In fact, it would be more surprising if they had never worked together," he added.
The Times said Shoshana Silver, the other man's widow, said her husband worked for the UJC only briefly. He was let go in 1974 so any UJC material that had Silver's name on it after that would have had nothing to do with her husband, she said.
Silver's office didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.