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Sheldon Silver's prison surrender pushed back

Silver's request for bail during a pending appeal is still being considered.

Former Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver exits a Manhattan

Former Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver exits a Manhattan federal court on Friday, July 27, 2018. Photo Credit: Louis Lanzano

A federal appeals court judge in Manhattan has put former Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver’s scheduled Oct. 5 surrender date for his corruption conviction on hold pending a decision on the ex-speaker’s motion for bail pending appeal.

Silver, 74, was sentenced to 7 years in prison and fined $1.75 million by Manhattan U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni on July 30 after being convicted of taking bribes disguised as legal fees in return for favors for a mesothelioma researcher and developers.

In a brief order issued Tuesday morning, Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Peter Hall said his scheduled surrender to start serving time should be stayed while his request for bail during a planned appeal is being decided.

Hall also referred the request for bail pending to the court’s “next available motions panel,” and said the surrender date would be stayed until that panel rules. He didn’t express any view on the merits of the appeal or whether bail should be granted.

Although the delay could be brief, there is no fixed deadline for when a motion panel will be assigned or how long it will take to rule. Prosecutors have not yet filed a response to Silver’s request.

In 2016, Silver was sentenced to 12 years in prison after first being convicted of the same charges. But he remained out on bail while he appealed, and that conviction was later reversed by the Second Circuit after the Supreme Court raised the standard of proof in federal bribery cases.

He was convicted by another jury in May after a retrial. He is challenging that conviction by arguing that Caproni did not instruct jurors properly on the new standard in bribery cases, allowing them to convict without requiring proof that Silver and those who conferred benefits had agreed on favors he would confer in return.

In July, Caproni recommended Silver serve his time at the federal prison facility in Otisville, NY, but it is not known whether the federal Bureau of Prisons will follow that recommendation.

Prosecutors declined to comment on the delay of Silver's surrender.

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