Silver, former Speaker of the New York Assembly, convicted in second trial of corruption

© Reuters. Former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver exits the United States District Court for Manhattan in New York City, USA.

By Brendan Pierson

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was found guilty on corruption charges on Friday by a jury in federal court in Manhattan after an appeals court dismissed an earlier conviction.

Silver, 74, was charged with directing state money to a prominent cancer researcher and supporting a real estate developer’s interests in rental legislation in exchange for approximately $ 4 million in kickbacks and kickbacks.

Silver was found guilty of all seven charges against him, including honest services fraud and extortion. The jury delivered its verdict at the end of its first full day of deliberations.

US Attorney Geoffrey Berman in Manhattan said in a statement that Silver “vowed to act in the best interest of the people of New York State.”

“Finding a unanimous jury, he sold his public office out of private greed,” Berman said.

An attorney for Silver could not immediately be reached for comment.

Silver was convicted for the first time in November 2015. In May 2016, Caproni sentenced him to 12 years in prison.

However, last July, a federal appeals court in New York overturned the conviction. The court ruled that the jury had received inadequate instructions in light of the 2016 Supreme Court decision overturning former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell’s corruption conviction.

The Supreme Court determined in that decision that routine political activities, such as organizing meetings or communicating with public officials, were not “official acts” that could be prosecuted under federal bribery law.

Silver, a Democrat, represented the Lower East Side of Manhattan and was Speaker of the Assembly from 1994 to 2015.

Along with Governor Andrew Cuomo and former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, he was one of the few people with the effective power to dictate New York’s legislative priorities.

Skelos was found guilty of corruption charges in December 2015 and sentenced to five years in prison. His conviction was also overturned last year, for reasons similar to Silver’s, and prosecutors have said they will try him again.

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