Western New York Assemblyman Mickey Kearns had a cynical take on the news that a federal appeals court overturned the corruption conviction of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

“We know that there was corruption. We know that Mr. Silver monetized his office for self gain. We know that he protected and harbored sex offenders in the legislature. We know all those. Those are facts,” Kearns said. “I think it shows that sometimes our criminal justice system doesn’t work.”

Kearns was one of the more vocal critics during Silver’s last few years as Speaker and left the Democratic Conference to protest the handling of the Vito Lopez scandal. The Buffalo Democrat didn’t caucus with his party again until Silver stepped down in 2015.

“I know there is going to be a retry of the case,” he said. “I’m going to advocate that. I’m going to personally reach out to them to have them retry Mr. Silver.”

While he said he’s disappointed, the assemblyman quickly pointed to a silver lining from Silver’s high-profile corruption case. He said it put an increased focus on ethics reform in Albany and led to the legislature’s approval of a pension reform.

The constitutional amendment still needs approval from the general public.

“The voters are going to have an opportunity to hold public officials accountable that breach the public trust and you’ll be able to vote in a referendum to strip corrupt politicians of their pensions,” he said. “That will be on the ballot this November, so that’s a positive thing that came from this.”

Meanwhile, Kearns said the decision today is a reminder more ethics reform is needed.