Wednesday, 22 November, 2017

NY court overturns corruption conviction of ex-assemblyman Silver

Former New York assembly speaker Sheldon Silver arriving at the courthouse in New York Former New York assembly speaker Sheldon Silver arriving at the courthouse in New York
Howard Terry | 14 July, 2017, 00:35

Former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's conviction in a multi-million dollar corruption case has been overturned.

The key word in that paragraph is "likely", and Cabranes and his colleagues said that they couldn't in their right mind conclude that Silver's earlier convictions for extortion, money laundering, and so-called "honest services" fraud were likely to stand. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison but has remained free during the appeal process.

Silver was convicted in November 2015 on all seven counts against him in his high-profile federal corruption trial involving some $4 million in allegedly illegal payments, bringing to an end a career in which he spent two decades as one of the state's most powerful political figures.

"It is not a statement that Silver did not break the law", Kramer said.

Preet Bharara, the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of NY, had brought what was initially a five-count criminal complaint alleging that Silver pocketed $4 million in kickbacks since 2000 in the real estate and health care industries in return for favorable treatment in Albany.

"Given the teachings of the Supreme Court in McDonnell, and the particular circumstances of this case, we simply can not reach that conclusion".

Steven Molo and Joel Cohen, Silver's lawyers, said in a statement, "We are grateful the court saw it our way and reversed the conviction on all counts". The conviction of McDonnell also was thrown out.

Since just about every conviction Silver was nailed for depended on whether he took an "official act", the Second Circuit suggested prosecutors needed to start over.

New York state assembly speaker Sheldon Silver outside federal courthouse after his arraignment on bribery and corruption charges Jan. 22 2015
Conviction of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver overturned

"There's no question that the government presented evidence relating to Mr". "Given the teachings of the Supreme Court in McDonnell, and the particular circumstances of this case, we simply can not reach that conclusion".

Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim says he will retry the case.

Former Speaker Silver is not the first legislative leader to see his corruption conviction overturned on appeal. Although it will be delayed, we do not expect justice to be denied, " the prosecutor said.

He was also an attorney for a Manhattan law firm.

Along with Governor Andrew Cuomo and former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, he was one of the "three men in a room" with effective power to dictate NY legislative priorities.

Silver was convicted of engaging in a quid quo pro scheme in which he used his official position to drive millions to himself through arrangements with two real estate developers and a cancer researcher at Columbia University. But the appeals court rejected that argument.

More than 30 other state lawmakers have left office under a cloud of criminal or ethical allegations since 2000, including Silver's former state Senate counterpart, Republican ex-Majority Leader Dean Skelos.

After an appearance in Buffalo Thursday, Cuomo did not signal his personal view on the court's decision.

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