By CBSNewYork Team

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is out of prison.

He was released Tuesday morning from federal prison in Orange County on furlough, which is a temporary release program.

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He is waiting to be placed on home confinement.

Silver was serving a six-and-a-half year sentence for corruption. The 77-year-old started serving his sentence last August.

His projected release date had been 2026.

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In a statement, the federal Bureau of Prisons said the agency can transfer inmates to their home on furlough for periods of time while they are considered for home confinement or to be sent to a halfway house. The agency has been moving some inmates to furlough in an effort to get those expected to transition to home confinement out of correctional facilities sooner.

Congress gave the Justice Department expanded powers during the COVID pandemic to release inmates on furlough and home confinement. In January, the Justice Department issued a memo that said the Bureau of Prisons may have to return some inmates serving extended terms of home confinement to prison once the coronavirus emergency period that was established by Congress expires.

Silver, a Democrat, was ousted as speaker in 2015 and convicted later that year, but appeals had kept him out of prison. His conviction in federal court in Manhattan was overturned on appeal before he was convicted again in 2018. He has a projected release date from federal custody in 2026.

Part of that conviction was then tossed out on another appeal, leading to yet another sentencing in July when he asked a judge not to let him die in prison. His lawyers had sought a term of home confinement, arguing that sending him to prison would worsen existing health issues or risk having him die from the coronavirus.

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(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

CBSNewYork Team