Ex-N.Y. legislator’s conviction tossed
NEW YORK — The corruption conviction of former state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was overturned Thursday by a federal appeals court that found sufficient evidence but flawed jury instructions in light of a recent Supreme Court ruling narrowing the definition of what it takes to convict a public official. Prosecutors vowed to retry him.
A three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan said it could not conclude with certainty that a rational jury would have convicted the Democrat if it had been properly instructed on what constitutes an “official act.”
“We are grateful the court saw it our way and reversed the conviction on all counts,” Silver’s lawyers said. He had been convicted of honest-services fraud, extortion and money laundering.
Silver was sentenced last year to 12 years in prison after he was convicted of collecting $4 million in kickbacks from a cancer researcher and real estate developers in return for using his powerful post to help them.