A three-judge appeals panel took a hard, and unusually long look Wednesday at ex-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s appeal of his second conviction over $4 million in bribes — leaving open the chance that he could get yet a third trial, the NY Post reports.
The panel spent more than an hour hearing out Silver’s prosecutors and lawyers, and asked multiple questions on whether a quid-pro-quo was sufficiently proven. Circuit Judge Richard J. Sullivan said a description by prosecutors of what Silver promised to do in return for alleged bribes was “pretty squishy.”
And he seemed critical of the prosecution’s efforts to claim proof of Silver’s crimes included his advice on how to get a charity race permit, something the then-Speaker provided a doctor who referred law clients to him. “If somebody wants to pay money for that, it’s not good, but it’s not a crime, right?” Sullivan asked. Some of the payments could be seen as “just currying favor” with Silver, noted Circuit Judge Richard C. Wesley. Read more at the NY Post.