Shel­don Sil­ver’s Bid to Dis­miss Charges Re­jected; Path Cleared for Re­trial

The Jewish Voice - - NEW YORK - By Han­nah Hayes

On Tues­day, March 20, for­mer New York State Assem­bly Speaker Shel­don Sil­ver’s bid to dis­miss his in­dict­ment on cor­rup­tion charges was re­jected by a fed­eral judge. The path is now cleared for Sil­ver to be re­tried, since his ear­lier con­vic­tion was thrown out.

The ar­gu­ments given by Sil­ver for the dis­missal or nar­row­ing of his in­dict­ment “run counter to the law,” said U.S. District Judge Va­lerie Caproni in Man­hat­tan. She also said that there was no ba­sis for a limit to be set on the sum he may be re­quired to for­feit.

Sil­ver’s con­vic­tion and 12-year prison sen­tence from Novem­ber 2015 was over­turned last July in Man­hat­tan fed­eral ap­peals court, and he was set free on bail. The grounds for over­turn­ing his con­vic­tion cited that ju­rors must be in­structed by the trial judge in a man­ner that con­forms to a re­cent de­ci­sion by the Supreme Court in which the pub­lic cor­rup­tion con­vic­tion of Vir­ginia Repub­li­can for­mer-Gov­er­nor Bob McDon­nell was re­v­ersed. The def­i­ni­tion of what an “of­fi­cial act” by a politi­cian con­sti­tutes was nar­rowed by the high court rul­ing, which now makes it harder for con­vic­tions to be ob­tained by pros­e­cu­tors in many pub­lic cor­rup­tion cases. How­ever, it also said that suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence was pro­vided by pros­e­cu­tors to prove money laun­der­ing, ex­tor­tion and hon­est ser­vices fraud, all counts of which Sil­ver had been con­victed of.

In Au­gust, a for­mal let­ter by the gov­ern­ment re­quested that a Man­hat­tan judge set a re­trial for this com­ing March, April or May, cit­ing that a fast re­trial would be in the best in­ter­est of the pub­lic.

As pre­vi­ously re­ported by The Jewish Voice, close to $5 mil­lion was re­ceived by Sil­ver in bribes and kick­backs from real es­tate devel­op­ers and a cancer re­searcher in ex­change for Sil­ver us­ing his po­si­tion power in their fa­vor, pros­e­cu­tors al­lege. The funds were then laun­dered in pri­vate in­vest­ment ve­hi­cles. Ac­cord­ing to pros­e­cu­tors, he ac­cu­mu­lated over $2 mil­lion in as­sets and set him­self up an an­nual state pen­sion of $70,000.

The lawyers rep­re­sent­ing Sil­ver ar­gued that it may be con­cluded by the Supreme Court that as a mat­ter of law, Sil­ver should not have to go through a re­trial. Pros­e­cu­tors strongly dis­agreed and claimed that this is merely a “de­lay tac­tic” by the de­fense which will likely fail. In court pa­pers, pros­e­cu­tors said, “Sil­ver’s re­trial is in­evitable, re­gard­less of the out­come of any one of his claims in the Supreme Court.”

“Sil­ver’s re­trial is in­evitable, re­gard­less of the out­come of any one of his claims in the Supreme Court.”

For­mer New York State Assem­bly Speaker Shel­don Sil­ver will soon be fac­ing a re­trial, since his bid to dis­miss his in­dict­ment was re­jected last week.

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