Sheldon Silver, former NY Assembly speaker, convicted for second time
Former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has been convicted again.
On Friday, a jury found Silver guilty of corruption charges, convicting him on counts of extortion and honest services fraud, according to The New York Times.
The outcome is the latest twist in an ongoing legal saga for the New York Democrat.
In 2015, Silver was arrested in Manhattan on corruption charges. Federal prosecutors alleged that Silver had taken advantage of his position as one of the state’s most powerful politicians to obtain close to $4 million in bribes and kickbacks.
Silver was sentenced to 12 years in prison for fraud and extortion in 2016 following an initial conviction. But a federal appeals court overturned Silver’s corruption conviction in 2017, citing a Supreme Court decision the year before that centered on the question of what constitutes an “official action” under federal corruption law.
Silver’s attorneys said at the time that they were “grateful” for the appeals court’s ruling. The US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York indicated, however, that it would move to retry the case.
Now, Silver has been convicted again.
In a statement reacting to the conviction, US Attorney Geoffrey Berman said that the jury found that Silver had “sold his public office for private greed.”
New York’s Democratic governor, Andrew Cuomo, reacted to the verdict on Friday by saying in a one-line statement, “the justice system shows no one is above the law.”
An attorney for Silver did not immediately return a request for comment on Friday’s verdict.
According to The Times, when Silver left the courthouse on Friday, he suggested that he believes he has a chance at a successful appeal, saying, “I’m very confident the judicial process will play out in my favor.”