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In Sheldon Silver corruption case, juror questionnaire gets judge's OK

Former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver

Former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver leaves Federal Court in Manhattan following a pre-trial hearing on Friday, Oct. 16, 2015. Credit: Craig Ruttle

The federal judge in the upcoming corruption trial of former state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has approved a questionnaire asking jurors if publicity on the case or charges of bribe-taking by an elected official would keep them from being fair.

The questionnaire, released Wednesday, also asks prospective jurors about their familiarity with more than 70 people and entities that may come up at trial, including several Assembly officials but not Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo or Leonard Litwin, the billionaire owner of a development firm Silver allegedly shook down.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday. Silver (D-Manhattan), 70, is charged with doing legislative favors for the developer, Glenwood Management, and a mesothelioma researcher, in return for legal fees they generated at law firms that paid Silver.

In other questions, prospective jurors are asked about their ties to New York State government, the real estate industry, tenant advocacy groups, mesothelioma or the law firms involved in the case.


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