Write a comment

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

Silver was accused of collecting back-door attorney fees in exchange for favors from Albany.


"Today justice was served on behalf of taxpayers. But this latest conviction must also be met with action in Albany. If we are going to protect our democracy and restore the trust of New Yorkers, we must fight for good government in Albany, not just the courts," former federal prosecutor, Senator Todd Kaminsky, said of the guilty verdict.

A prosecutor cited a "mountain of evidence" against New York's former assembly speaker and called for the guilty verdict Thursday while a defense attorney said his client committed no crime.

The lawyers made their closing arguments in Sheldon Silver's second trial, and jurors deliberated less than an hour over his mail fraud, wire fraud and extortion charges.
The 74-year-old once-powerful Democrat did not testify in a trial that was surprisingly fast, with 26 witnesses and a slew of exhibits dispensed in less than two weeks - twice as fast as expected.

Still, Assistant U.S. Attorney Tatiana Martins said the jury could rely on a "mountain of evidence in this case" that Silver earned $5 million illegally to reach the same conclusion as a jury in 2015. Guilty.

Defense attorney Michael Feldberg disagreed.

The 2015 verdict and the 12-year prison sentence that followed were tossed out last year when the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that a June 2016 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that narrowed the definition of a corrupt act meant the jury at Silver's first trial was not properly instructed on the law.

After the lawyers finished their arguments Thursday, U.S. District Judge Valerie E. Caproni read to jurors the law they must follow in their deliberations.

Attorney Michael Feldberg said money Silver received as legal fees for work on behalf of asbestos victims and real estate developers was "perfectly legal."

He said the fees were "common, standard and accepted" and his client disclosed publicly exactly what the law required.

Martins said Silver earned $4 million in legal fees and another million dollars by investing the "dirty money."

She said the extortion charges lodged against Silver resulted from "a different kind of extortion" in which Silver used the power of his position to force others to enrich him.

Martins said he went to great lengths to cover up his crimes, including putting more than $400,000 in his wife's name so it would not be reported publicly. She said he repeatedly lied to the press and public.

"His corruption, his extortion and his lies would be exposed in this courtroom," the prosecutor said.

Silver was first elected to the Assembly in 1976. He 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.

Loading comment... The comment will be refreshed after 00:00.

Be the first to comment.

Say something here...
You are a guest ( Sign Up ? )
or post as a guest
 

 

 

Latest

Write a comment

Heads-Up Taiwan: 167 MPH Winds - 200 MPH Gusts!

September 23, 2018
8 Comments

Amazon Associates BEWARE! Have Just TERMINATED Relationship with Amazon Associates

September 23, 2018
15 Comments

Russia to Israel: Who is in control of your military? Says Israel "Ungrateful" and "Criminally Negligent" in Downing of IL-20 Plane

September 23, 2018
1 Comment

Democrats Could be HELD in Senate Session through OCTOBER - Can't Campaign!

September 21, 2018
Write a comment

Mitch McConnell: Has the Votes to Confirm Kavanaugh

September 21, 2018
41 Comments

SYRIA ATTACKED AGAIN - "MISSILES FROM THE SEA" -- Russian IL-20 Aircraft with 14 Troops aboard "HIT" - falls into the Med.

September 17, 2018
5 Comments

North Carolina Nuclear Plant Declares EMERGENCY

September 17, 2018
22 Comments

AMBUSHED! US Forces KILLED by ISIS in Syria

September 16, 2018
12 Comments

Here it is: Filming of a FALSE Chemical Attack at Hospital in Syria

September 16, 2018
5 Comments

Hurricane Leaves Major "Hole" In US National Defenses!

September 15, 2018
19 Comments

RUSSIANS BOMB AL-TANF - PERIMETER OF U.S. BASE; AMERICAN TROOPS "TRAPPED"

September 15, 2018
Write a comment

47.3 Inches of Rain in 48 Hours - and it's still raining!

September 15, 2018
9 Comments

COVERT INTEL: Solar Observatory Closure in New Mexico

September 15, 2018
2 Comments

Mueller Refers Former Obama White House Counsel for Criminal Prosecution!

September 15, 2018
12 Comments

COVERT INTEL: Keep an eye on Europe This Weekend; Germany, Austria, Lichtenstein in particular

September 14, 2018