You can’t blame Sheldon Silver for trying. U.S. District Court Judge Valerie Caproni on Tuesday denied the ex-Assembly speaker’s attempt to stop prosecutors from presenting campaign contributions from Glenwood Management as evidence in Silver’s upcoming corruption trial.
“In this case, Glenwood’s campaign contributions are relevant to Glenwood’s motive to enter into an alleged quid pro quo relationship with Silver, even if the contributions themselves were not part of the quid pro quo exchange,” Caproni wrote in her order, according to Politico.
Caproni continued: “The fact that Glenwood’s contributions to New York State politicians and political action committees were purportedly the largest of any company or individual during the relevant time period is circumstantial evidence that Glenwood believed at the time that favorable action by New York State was critical to Glenwood’s business success. From that fact, a jury could conclude that Glenwood was motivated to curry favor with Silver.”
Caproni denied a separate motion late last week, to throw out evidence that allegedly links Silver to official action taken on Glenwood’s behalf. Prosecutors claim Silver engaged in a game of quid pro quo with Glenwood, raking in campaign donations in exchange for fighting a methadone clinic that could have moved to Liberty Plaza, next to one of Glenwood’s buildings.
Since the bombshell allegations, Glenwood, led by 101-year-old Leonard Litwin, has all but stopped making political contributions.
On Wednesday, Silver told the Associated Press he would “be vindicated” after his trial, which begins on Nov. 2.
The Democrat is charged with seven counts across two alleged schemes, charges that include extortion, wire and mail fraud.
Earlier this week, U.S. District Court Judge Kimba Wood denied four pre-trial motions filed by ex-majority leader Dean Skelos, who sought to dismiss charges in his own corruption trial. [Politico] – Ariel Stulberg