Tag Archives: corruption

Second Circuit Decision in NY Assembly Speaker’s Bribery Conviction Reversal Opens Possible Loophole

Sheldon Silver, former speaker of the New York State Assembly, was convicted of a number of political corruption crimes in 2015, namely accepting bribes in exchange for favorable “official acts” that benefited some bribe payors. He appealed his conviction to the Second Circuit on two grounds: first, that the trial court erred by failing to require that the prosecution establish that he and the bribe payor had a “meeting of the minds” on the specific official act to be performed in exchange for the bribes; and second, that the trial court erred by allowing the prosecution to proceed on a theory that allowed conviction based on a “nonspecific promise to undertake official action on any future matter beneficial to the payor.” (Emphasis added.)

On January 21, 2020, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit partially reversed Silver’s conviction and remanded the case for resentencing. The court’s logic and findings are significant and merit close attention.

View the full Alert on the Duane Morris LLP website.