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Judge to allow prosecution evidence in Sheldon Silver corruption case

Former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver

Former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver leaves federal court in Manhattan on Tuesday, April 28, 2015. Credit: Charles Eckert

A federal judge in Manhattan ruled Friday that prosecutors can introduce key evidence at former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's corruption trial, including alleged omissions on financial disclosures and claims that he opposed a drug treatment clinic at the behest of a developer.

Silver, 71, is scheduled to go to trial next month on charges that he made $4 million in legal fees in return for doing legislative favors for a doctor and developer Glenwood Management.

The Manhattan Democrat stepped down as speaker a few days after his arrest in January but retains his seat in the Assembly.

U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni sided with the government almost every time on a series of disputed evidentiary issues, including Silver's claim that state forms requiring disclosure of "each source" of income did not necessarily cover legal fees channeled to him by Glenwood.

"EACH SOURCE it says in capital letters!" Caproni responded. "What is your theory of why each source doesn't mean each source?"

The judge also agreed to let in testimony that Silver blocked a Manhattan methadone clinic after Glenwood asked him to, saying that whether he did it for the company or for constituents was up to the jury, and also said she would allow testimony about Glenwood's campaign contributions.


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