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Judge denies Senate leader’s bid for new corruption trial

Former State Senator John Sampson is seen in

Former State Senator John Sampson is seen in a May, 2013 file photo. Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

A Brooklyn federal judge on Monday denied former state Senate Democratic leader John Sampson’s bid for a new trial on corruption charges, clearing the way for his sentencing.

Sampson was convicted last year of lying and obstructing justice to cover up a loan from a mortgage broker that he used to hide an embezzlement of escrow funds. He argued that a recent Supreme Court ruling narrowing federal bribery laws required a new trial.

But U.S. District Judge Dora Irizarry said in a brief order that although prosecutors introduced evidence of favors Sampson did for the broker, he was not charged with or convicted of bribery, and the Supreme Court ruling had no impact.

Irizarry did postpone Sampson’s scheduled Thursday sentencing, and said she would set a new date.

Two other convicted politicians — former Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver and former Senate Republican leader Dean Skelos – have cited the Supreme Court ruling reversing the conviction of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell in their appeals.

Both have stayed out of prison by persuading the judges who sentenced them that they have a significant chance of getting their convictions reversed on appeal.


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