MANHATTAN - Jury selection in the corruption trial of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver began Monday in Manhattan.

Officials say the jury could hear evidence as early as Tuesday.

Prosecutors accuse Silver, 71, of using his legislative position to collect $4 million in payoffs and kickbacks while working for a private law firm.

Silver has maintained his innocence since his arrest in January. He says the money came from attorney referral fees.

Later this month, former New York Senate leader Dean Skelos will stand trial with his son on extortion and bribery charges. He also says that he and his son are innocent.