Silver’s third attempt to get charges tossed fails

Sheldon SilverOn Friday, U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni rejected Sheldon Silver’s attempt to get some of the corruption charges against him thrown out.

Silver’s lawyers argued that the federal charges against him erroneously raised run-of-the-mill conflict-of-interest cases to the level of extortion, and that they would be best settled by a board of ethics rather than a jury. Judge Caproni let these charges stand.

They also claimed that a late charge against Silver of using his office to access investment opportunities not available to the average person would prejudice him before the jury. Judge Caproni pointed out the the rest of the indictment didn’t exactly “make Silver look like a boy scout.”

Silver’s trial is set to begin November 2. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison, and would have to immediately vacate his assembly seat. Silver has taken steps to secure control of his succession by helping friends and family get onto the county committee that will select the Democrat for a special election.

More on this story from the Lo-Down, Forward, and Crain’s.