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Yes, unfortunately it is legal. There is no law which would make the verdict of the state case admissible in the federal case.
He could have used any testimony from the state case to "impeach" any witnesses in the federal case. That means that if the witness in the federal case said something different in the state case then his lawyer could have cross examined him using the testimony in an attempt to show he was lying.
In addition, the evidence offered in the state case could have been used in the federal case as well.
It is only the verdict that would not be admissible. If he had been convicted in the state court the prosecutor would not have been able to offer that conviction in the guilt or innocence portion of the federal case under most circumstances either.