Former state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was convicted Monday in a $5 million corruption case that took down one of New York's most powerful politicians and stunned a capital that had become accustomed to scandal.
The jury verdict came after a three-week trial in which federal prosecutors claimed that the 71-year-old Democrat traded favors to enrich himself and then lied about it. The defense countered that the government was trying to criminalize the longtime routines of Albany politicians.
Even in a state capital where more than 30 lawmakers have left office facing criminal charges or allegations of ethical misconduct since 2000, the case against Silver was an extraordinary turn. An assemblyman since 1976, Silver was one of Albany's most storied political figures, a consummate backroom operator with the power to decide the fate of legislation single-handedly.
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Source: NBC News, I-Team Investigations