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. Skelos was also convicted in a corruption trial. A prosecutor cited a "mountain of evidence" against New York's former assembly speaker and called for the guilty verdict Thursday while a defense attorney said his client committed no crime.
Silver, 74, was found guilty on all seven counts brought by the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of NY, including charges that he extorted developers Glenwood Management and the Witkoff Group by asking them to direct their tax business to law firm Goldberg & Iryami.
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The case, which moved along the well-worn path of witnesses and evidence from the 2015 trial, was retried after the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in McDonnell v.
Silver's lawyer, Michael S. Feldberg, had argued in his summation that Silver's actions were legal.
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Prosecutors said Silver illegally earned $4 million from a cancer researcher and real estate developers who benefited from his clout in state government.
The jury deliberated for an hour and a half after a two-week trial in Manhattan and found him guilty of all seven charges he faced, including honest services mail fraud and money laundering.
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Silver served in the Assembly for almost four decades. He eventually became one of the three most powerful politicians in the state, playing a pivotal role in deciding what legislation made it to a vote.