Four months later…
By Post Editorial Board
August 25, 2016
Shelly Silver will stay out of jail for what looks to be another year, thanks to US District Court Judge Valerie Caproni’s ruling Thursday that the disgraced former Assembly speaker can remain free on bail pending his appeal of his landmark corruption conviction.
But it’s justice delayed, not denied — yet. And he still must start making payments on the $7 million he owes in fines and restitution as a result of his conviction.
What’s up? Caprioni saw a decent chance that Silver could win his appeal thanks to the recent Supreme Court ruling that tossed the conviction of Virginia ex-Gov. Bob McDonnell.
But that’s far from a sure thing — because the crimes that earned Silver a 12-year bribery sentence were markedly different from the McDonnell case.
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The high court let the Virginian off because he hadn’t actually provided official actions in exchange for the gifts he received from a businessman.
Silver, by contrast, plainly did abuse his office: most notably, to funnel $500,000 in state funds to a doctor who then referred patients to Silver’s law firm, for which the firm paid the speaker millions.
That leaves Silver’s lawyers hoping to make a procedural case — namely, that because Caprioni didn’t define “official action” for the jury, his conviction might be tainted.
We trust US Attorney Preet Bharara’s team can persuade the courts otherwise. Sheldon Silver plainly belongs in prison.