Manhattan federal prosecutors have asked a judge to schedule a retrial of former New York State Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver on corruption charges in the spring of 2018, one day after Silver won a delay in his case while he asks the Supreme Court to bar any retrial.
The government’s letter to U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni said reserving time for a monthlong trial in March, April or May would save time if Silver fails in his quest, and did not conflict with the delay Silver won on Thursday.
Silver’s conviction for doing legislative favors in return for legal referral fees and 12-year prison sentence was reversed because of incorrect jury instructions, but prosecutors from the office of Acting U.S. Attorney Joon Kim said a prompt retrial was “in the public interest.”
The Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan overturned his conviction last month because Caproni did not correctly describe the type of “official act” Silver had to perform to be guilty in a bribery scheme, but it said there was sufficient evidence for a properly instructed jury to convict.
Silver contends there was insufficient evidence, and intends to ask the Supreme Court to review that part of the ruling. If the high court were to agree, it would prohibit any retrial.
He asked the Second Circuit to hold its decision in abeyance — and deprive Caproni of the ability to begin a second trial — until he had time to petition the Supreme Court. The Second Circuit agreed, over government objections.
Silver has 90 days from the date of the appeals ruling last month to file his request for the Supreme Court to intervene. Once filed, it would be up to the Supreme Court to decide when to act on the request.