U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Appeal, Clears the Way For Sheldon Silver Retrial

Sheldon Silver at the federal courthouse in Lower Manhattan. November 2015.

Sheldon Silver at the federal courthouse in Lower Manhattan. November 2015.

The U.S. Supreme Court today rejected former New York State Assemblyman Sheldon Silver’s request for an appeal. The decision means his retrial on federal corruption charges will likely go ahead as scheduled this coming spring.

In November of 2015, the former Lower East Side power broker was convicted on public corruption charges. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison, but remained free while the appeals process ran its course. Last year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit overturned the conviction and sent the case back for retrial. The appeals court found fault with the trial judge’s jury instructions in the aftermath of a supreme court case that weakened federal prosecutors’ hand in corruption cases. Silver filed the appeal with the high court in an effort to prevent a new trial.

Silver, a life-long Lower East Side resident, represented Lower Manhattan in the state assembly for four decades and had served as speaker of the assembly for more than 20 years. He was removed from office as a result of the 2015 conviction.

The retrial is tentatively scheduled to begin April 16.