Ex-Speaker Sheldon Silver convicted of corruption, again

Glen Norman
May 13, 2018

Former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has been convicted in his retrial on corruption charges.

Former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver arrives at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on April 30. In overturning Silver's previous conviction, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit said the jury instructions provided by U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni were such that it was unclear if the jury's verdict would have remained the same after McDonnell.

Silver, 74, was convicted of obtaining almost $4 million in illicit payments in return for taking official actions that benefited others. But this latest conviction must also be met with action in Albany.

After his first trial, the judge, Valerie E. Caproni of U.S. District Court for the Southern District of NY, imposed a 12-year sentence on Silver, but he remained free pending his appeal and second trial. Skelos is to be retried in June.

Silver was accused of taking $4 million in bribes disguised as legal fees. But Silver's lawyer says there was no crime, calling the fees "common, standard and accepted". Both Glenwood and Witkoff testified that at that the time they were unaware Silver was receiving a kickback from the fees they were paying the firm.

In addition to trading favors with the real estate developers, it was determined that Silver found jobs for two women he had extramarital affairs with.

"There is not one whit of evidence of quid pro quo, not a shred of evidence of bribery", Feldberg said.

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