Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Ex-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver found guilty on all counts

Former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver found guilty- again Silver, in Retrial, Found Guilty on All Counts of Corruption
Glenn Montgomery | 13 May, 2018, 00:48

Ex-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was found guilty on all seven counts in his corruption retrial Friday.

Silver was first elected to the Assembly in 1976 and eventually became one of the three most powerful politicians in the state, playing a pivotal role in deciding what legislation made it to a vote.

The verdict Friday came more than two years after his first 2015 trial resulted in a 12-year prison sentence. He remained speaker until 2015, when he was arrested on federal corruption charges. But both men's convictions were overturned past year after the U.S. Supreme Court, in a ruling that reversed the conviction of Bob McDonnell, a former Republican governor of Virginia, narrowed the kind of quid-pro-quo actions that could constitute corruption. Skelos was also convicted in a corruption trial.

"Sheldon Silver repeatedly used his enormous public power for his own enormous private gain", a prosecutor, Tatiana R. Martins, told the jury in a closing statement Thursday. Skelos is to be retried in June.

Defense attorneys said in court that Silver's actions were "distasteful" but failed to prove that his actions fell outside the definition of bribery.

At the core of the government's case were two schemes, both of which hinge on referral fees paid to Silver by two different law firms-Weitz & Luxenberg, for asbestos-induced mesothelioma cancer cases, and Goldberg & Iryami, for tax certiorari work.

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.

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