NEW YORK (AP) — A federal appeals court has overturned the corruption conviction of former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

The ruling by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals came Thursday.

Silver was sentenced last year to 12 years in prison after he was convicted of collecting $4 million in kickbacks from a cancer researcher and real estate developers in return for using his powerful post to help them. He has not had to report to prison while he awaited the outcome of his appeal.

The appeals court said the judge's instructions on the law were not consistent with a recent Supreme Court ruling.

The Supreme Court recently reversed the conviction of Virginia Republican ex-Gov. Robert McDonnell. It raised the standards prosecutors must use when they accuse public officials of wrongdoing.

More From WIBX 950