Ex-N.Y. leg­is­la­tor’s con­vic­tion tossed

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NATIONAL -

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.

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