Conviction of former New York State Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver is overturned

Silver seen leaving federal court last year was found guilty of several corruption charges in November 2015

Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, whose office had prosecuted Silver, tweeted, "The evidence was strong". So, whatever happens next - and it should be a new trial - the fact is that the disgraced legislative leader is a crook, at heart if not at law.

Before receiving a 12-year sentence two years ago, Silver had been one of the most powerful politicians in Albany, occupying the top Democratic post in the New York Legislature.

What is more, Silver feels his guilt.

The appeals court said because those jury instructions were wrong based on the McDonnell decision, the powerful NY lawmaker might have been convicted in error.

Along with Governor Andrew Cuomo and former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, he was one of the "three men in a room" with effective power to dictate NY legislative priorities.

He had cause to regret. In the Silver case, the appellate court decided that the trial court judge gave faulty instructions to the jury. That is to say, he used the levers of government to line his own pockets.

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. Silver, 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 16-1615.




In its decision to vacate Silver's conviction, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Manhattan pointed to a June 2016 Supreme Court decision to overturn the bribery conviction of former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell.

A three-judge panel rejected Silver's challenges to the sufficiency of the evidence. A jury that had been given accurate instructions may not have found Silver guilty, the court found, according to the Times.

The ruling in Silver's appeals raises questions about the future of the case against Skelos, who was convicted weeks after Silver alongside his son, Adam Skelos, on bribery, extortion and conspiracy charges. He, too, has cited the McDonnell ruling in his appeal, which is pending.

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.

"We are grateful the court saw it our way and reversed the conviction on all counts", Silver's attorneys said.

"Although it will be delayed, we do not expect justice to be denied", Kim said in a statement. We hope he succeeds, but even if he doesn't, New Yorkers already have won just by being rid of this devious man.

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