Lawmakers react to Silver conviction; Sentencing scheduled for July 13

Sheldon Silver, former Democratic speaker of the New York State Assembly, was convicted Friday on charges of corruption for a second time.

In 2015, Silver was convicted of honest services fraud, extortion and money laundering, having allegedly received almost $4 million dollars in exchange for taking official actions that benefited a cancer researcher at Columbia University and two real estate developers in New York.

The decision, however, was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court which revised what is considered bribery and corruption during the case of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell.

The United States District Attorney for the Southern District of New York called for a retrial following the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court. The retrial began at the end of April and the jury delivered their verdict after one day of deliberation.

“Sheldon Silver, the former New York State Assembly Speaker, took an oath to act in the best interests of the people of New York state. As a unanimous jury found, he sold his public office for private greed,” said Geoffrey Berman, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York.

The jury’s verdict in the retrial included counts of honest services fraud, extortion and money laundering

“One of the most worthy endeavors of this office is combatting public corruption,” Berman said. “We will continue to do so with the independence and resolve the Southern District is known for and the citizens of New York so rightly deserve.”

Former federal prosecutor, Sen. Todd Kaminsky, D-Long Beach, said it is important to protect democracy and uphold justice for New Yorkers.

“If we are going to protect our democracy and restore the trust of New Yorkers, we must fight for good government in Albany, not just the courts,” Kaminsky said.

Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, R-Staten Island, said the repeated verdict in Silver’s retrial shows that the justice system is doing its jobs in catching corrupt politicians.

“While it’s always sad to learn of corruption taking place in government, there is a certain sense of relief that we are finally ridding the Capitol of crooked politicians,” Malliotakis said.

According to The New York Times the sentencing is set for July 13, but Silver looks to appeal again. “I’m very confident the judicial process will play out in my favor,” he told The New York Times.