Sheldon Silver begins appeal to reverse corruption conviction

Former Assembly Speaker citing Supreme Court's McDonnell ruling

New York /
Mar.March 17, 2017 10:15 AM

Former State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has begun his appeal to reverse a quid-pro-quo corruption convictions, and his lawyer is citing a unanimous Supreme Court decision that allowed Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell to escape ethics charges.

Silver’s attorney, Steven Molo, relied on the McDonnell case — which drastically narrowed the definition of corruption — when arguments began before a three-judge panel of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan on Thursday, the New York Times reported.

The former Speaker faces up to 12 years in prison for two criminal schemes, one of which involved real estate developers. Silver received nearly $4 million to make political maneuvers that benefited a doctor at Columbia University as well as the Witkoff Group and Glenwood Management TRData LogoTINY. Silver arranged to have the developers move taxes to a law firm that shared its fees with the elected official. In exchange, he supported legislation they found favorable.

Glenwood’s Richard Runes testified that – for a time – the payments to Silver were kept secret from them, and when they were discovered the company feared retribution if executives cut ties with the lawmaker.

Silver was convicted of honest services fraud, money laundering and extortion. He’s free on bail while he appeals his case.

The judge in the case noted that Silver took a “number of official acts — most obviously passing legislation and approving state grants and tax-exempt financing — as part of a quid pro quo, but there remained a “substantial question” on whether the court’s jury instructions were valid in light of the McDonnell ruling. That ruling found that official action must involve formal governmental actions or decisions, and not simply making phone calls or setting up meetings. [NYT]James Kleimann


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Kirk Goodrich, president of Monadnock Development, is opposed to the bill sponsored by Bran Lander. (Getty, Monadnock Development)

Council bill favoring nonprofits for affordable housing will hurt minority-led firms: developers

Council bill favoring nonprofits for affordable housing will hurt minority-led firms: developers
Sen. Charles Schumers aid President-elect Joe Biden agreed to assist NYC. (Getty)

NYC loses $2.5B in property taxes, gets $1B from FEMA

NYC loses $2.5B in property taxes, gets $1B from FEMA
President-elect Joe Biden's relief plan focuses on the coronavirus and opening schools. (Getty)

Biden’s $1.9T package would extend eviction ban, boost rent relief

Biden’s $1.9T package would extend eviction ban, boost rent relief
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that a major development surrounding Penn Station. (Getty)

Cuomo adds housing to $51B Midtown West project

Cuomo adds housing to $51B Midtown West project
Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. with President Donald Trump (Getty)

These are the companies dumping the Trump Organization

These are the companies dumping the Trump Organization
Ray McGuire photographed by Axel Dupeux.

The Closing: Ray McGuire

The Closing: Ray McGuire
Sen. Jabari Brisport (Photo via Jabari for State Senate; iStock)

Socialist notches key NY Senate appointment

Socialist notches key NY Senate appointment
Airbnb Brain Chesky and President-elect Joe Biden (Getty)

Airbnb cancels all DC-area bookings for inauguration week

Airbnb cancels all DC-area bookings for inauguration week
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...