Conviction of former New York Assembly speaker is tossed

Brandon Parsons
July 14, 2017

Former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's 2015 corruption conviction that triggered his removal from office was overturned by a federal appeals court Thursday.

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

"The evidence was strong". Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx), who replaced Silver, said, "As I have said we must respect the judicial process". "I think given the importance of the case, in the history of NY and the long litany of corruption that's been exposed in Albany its very important for the USA attorney to try this case again".

McDonnell, once a rising star in Republican politics, was convicted on federal corruption charges in 2014. And Silver, analysts said, might have similar trouble. "We're just not sure beyond a reasonable doubt that if the jury had understood the rules correctly that they would have convicted". Others predicted that the conviction would stand, while pointing to the McDonnell case as a potential threat. The McDonnell decision narrowed the definition of what official conduct can result in a corruption prosecution, according to the newspaper. There, the high court said that a politician simply setting up a meeting or taking a call with someone isn't an official act that would amount to an illegal quid pro quo.

Steven Molo and Joel Cohen, lawyers for Silver, said in a statement: "We are grateful the court saw it our way and reversed the conviction". The New York Times, Politico, the Associated Press and the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) have coverage.

"There's no question that the government presented evidence relating to Mr".

The Silver ruling will not affect the federal corruption trials later this year of nine former associates of Governor Andrew Cuomo, including Cuomo's former top aide, on bribery and bid rigging, because those trials will take place after the Supreme Court's McDonnell ruling. In fact, they rejected every attempt by Silver's legal team to contest the quality of the dirty deeds prosecutors aired during his five-week trial. He also took actions, such as casting favorable votes, to benefit real estate developers that gave business to a law firm that then sent Silver kickbacks, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors will need to go beyond showing "casual favors", she said.

The government even admitted during its appeal argument that the jury instructions were "partially wrong", in light of McDonnell, "but argued that the evidence was more than sufficient to sustain his conviction".

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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