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Former New York State Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver's conviction is overturned

Former New York State Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver's conviction is overturned

A federal appeals court on Thursday overturned the corruption conviction two years ago of former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

Silver, a Democrat who represented the Lower East Side in the assembly for almost four decades, had been convicted on seven counts of bribery and corruption last May.

In Silver's case, the court ruled his jury was given a too-broad definition of what constitutes an "official act" in light of the Supreme Court's decision, according to the ruling.

"Like the improper instruction in McDonnell, the plain language of the instruction at Silver's trial captured lawful conduct, such as arranging meetings or hosting events with constituents", wrote Cabranes.

In a statement, Acting U.S. Attorney Joon Kim, also Bharara's second-in-command before Trump fired him, sounded a confident note: Silver will be retried.

On November 30, 2015, a unanimous jury found Silver guilty on all seven counts of making illegal investments through private vehicles, netting a profit of $750,000. Bob McDonnell, whose corruption conviction was reversed when the high court narrowed the definition of the type of official misconduct on which such prosecution can be based.

Prosecutors said he collected almost $5 million in bribes and kickbacks from a cancer researcher and real estate developers in return for using his powerful post to help them, and then laundered the money in private investment vehicles. The question presented to us, however, is not how a jury would likely view the evidence presented by the Government.

He was also accused of receiving $3 million from a second law firm in exchange for using his official position to obtain names of unrepresented patients with mesothelioma from a doctor, to whose research Silver steered $500,000 in state funds. "This is yet another area where the Court has misinterpreted the law, setting legal standards which fly in the face of the public' expectations".

Lawyers for Silver had made the McDonnell ruling a key component of their appeal. And Silver, analysts said, might have similar trouble.

Silver last year was sentenced to 12 years in prison for using the power of his office to enrich himself with more than $4 million in two separate schemes.

In their appeals, Silver and Skelos found agreement in their legal strategy: the Supreme Court's decision past year in the McDonnell case should pave the way for reversals of their convictions. Although it will be delayed, we do not expect justice to be denied, " the prosecutor said.

Taub sued Columbia to get his $300,000-a-year job back but was sacked again in April after an appeals court sided with the university.

He served as leader of the state Assembly from 1994 through early 2015.

"Right now, if I drop a bag cash at your door but we never talk about it, there may be no felony committed", said Sen.

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


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