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BY COLIN MIXSON
He had one Shel of a ride!
Disgraced Downtown power broker Sheldon Silver was convicted on corruption charges — for a second time — on May 14, after a jury found him guilty — again — of engaging in a quid-pro-quo racketeering scheme that netted him millions of dollars in return for political favours.
The once-powerful former Assembly Speaker serving Lower Manhattan for three decades was first convicted of accepting some $4 million in kickbacks from real estate developers and a mesothelioma doctor in 2015, but “Shelly” managed to buck the jury’s guilty verdict on appeal thanks to a Supreme Court ruling that narrowed the definition of corruption.
An appeals court ruled in 2017 that jurors had received improper instructions on what does and doesn’t constitute corruption, but former Deputy U.S. Attorney Joon Kim said the court’s decision was not based on lack of evidence, and vowed a retrial.
Silver’s second trial lasted a brisk five days, and resulted in a unanimous verdict from jurors, according to U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman.
“Sheldon Silver … took an oath to act in the best interests of the people of New York State,” Berman said. “As a unanimous jury found, he sold his public office for private greed.”
Governor Cuomo, who once ruled the Empire State alongside Shelly as one of the so-called “three men in a room,” condemned the former Assembly Speaker’s corruption in a one-line press release.
“The justice system shows no one is above the law,” he said.
On his way out of the courthouse following his second conviction, Silver vowed to file yet another appeal, according to a New York Times report.
“I’m very confident the judicial process will play out in my favor,” he told the Times.