A federal judge has refused former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s bid to dismiss the corruption charges leveled against him. The judge ruled that “there is no evidence” public comments made by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara tainted the grand jury.
Silver, who resigned from his post as Speaker in February following his arrest for allegedly pocketing roughly $4 million in kickbacks, had argued that Bharara created a “media firestorm” designed to turn the jury against him.
Manhattan federal Judge Valerie Caproni has now rejected Silver’s motion to dismiss the charges against him based on Bharara’s statements, according to the New York Post.
However, Caproni added that she is “troubled by remarks” Bharara made to reporters in January, which she says “bundle together unproven allegations” about Silver. At the time, Bhahara said: “Politicians are supposed to be on the people’s payroll, not on secret retainer to wealthy special interests they do favors for.”
“In this case, the U.S. Attorney, while castigating politicians in Albany for playing fast and loose with the ethical rules that govern their conduct, strayed so close to the edge of the rules governing his own conduct,” Caproni wrote. [NYP] – Christopher Cameron