Published: Sun, May 13, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

Ex-Assembly speaker found guilty in corruption retrial

Ex-Assembly speaker found guilty in corruption retrial

Sheldon Silver, former longtime speaker of New York's Assembly and once one of the state's most powerful lawmakers, was convicted Friday of all counts after his retrial on public-corruption charges.

"If we are going to protect our democracy and restore the trust of New Yorkers, we must fight for good government in Albany, not just the courts", former federal prosecutor, Senator Todd Kaminsky, said of the guilty verdict.

Silver collected almost $4 million in bribes and kickbacks that he disguised as legal fees from law practice in exchange for his influence in Albany, prosecutors said.

Silver's 2015 conviction was overturned on appeal after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling narrowed the definition of a "corrupt act".

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After his first trial, the judge, Valerie E. Caproni of U.S. District Court for the Southern District of NY, imposed a 12-year sentence on Silver, but he remained free pending his appeal and second trial.

In return, Taub, over about a decade, referred almost 50 cancer patients with legal claims to the law firm Weitz & Luxenberg, which gave Silver a portion of its fees. Both Glenwood and Witkoff testified that at that the time they were unaware Silver was receiving a kickback from the fees they were paying the firm. The lawyers made their closing arguments in Sheldon Silver's second trial, and jurors deliberated less than an hour over his mail fraud, wire fraud and extortion charges.

Silver's lawyer, Michael S. Feldberg, had argued in his summation that Silver's actions were legal.

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