Silver reversal exposes flaws in anti-corruption system, critics say

Silver reversal exposes flaws in anti-corruption system, critics say

Silver reversal exposes flaws in anti-corruption system, critics say

Former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver - pictured here last May leaving court after being sentenced to 12 years in prison - had his 2015 conviction for corruption overturned by the Second Circuit Thursday.

But the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan also said federal prosecutors had presented "sufficient" evidence to prove the honest services fraud, extortion and money laundering counts on which Silver was convicted in November 2015.

"We recognize that many would view the facts adduced at Silver's trial with distaste", the written decision reads.

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"There's no question that the government presented evidence relating to Mr".

Former Speaker Silver is not the first legislative leader to see his corruption conviction overturned on appeal. In pleading for mercy at sentencing, he wrote a letter to the court admitting that he had "failed the people of NY".

Joon Kim, acting US Attorney for the Southern District of NY, said in a statement that he would retry the case, noting the appellate court found that evidence presented at trial was sufficient to prove the crimes against Silver, even under a new legal standard.

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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. The U.S. Attorney's Office under Preet Bharara's leadership won its case, and we have every expectation that the people can win again at retrial.

The Second Circuit didn't outright acquit Silver, determining "the evidence was enough that a properly instructed jury could have convicted him", Kramer said.

But the Manhattan U.S. Attorney's Office has vowed to retry Silver, and several experts interviewed by the Daily News said he could still wind up behind bars. The judge in Silver's case had defined it as "any action taken or to be taken under color of official authority", which "was erroneous under McDonnell", the appeals court said. On May 3, 2016, federal judge Valerie E. Caproni of the United States District Court for the Southern District of NY sentenced Silver to 12 years in jail, and ordered him to pay $5.3 million in ill-gotten gains and $1.75 million in additional fines. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), whose trial is scheduled to begin in September.

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"It is not a statement that Silver did not break the law", Kramer said. He said the reversal reinforces voters" cynicism: "They think, "Of course you can get away with it'".

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