New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) said on Thursday that New York’s powerful and longtime Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D) was “a man of integrity” despite having just been arrested and charged with corruption.
Silver surrendered to federal authorities earlier in the day after being charged with allegedly taking millions of dollars in bribes. However, de Blasio stood by the speaker during a news conference at City Hall.
“Although the charges announced today are certainly very serious, I want to note that I’ve always known Shelly Silver to be a man of integrity, and he certainly has due process rights,” de Blasio said. “And I think it’s important that we let the judicial process play out here.”
De Blasio noted that “allegations are allegations” and said he didn’t believe Silver should step down at this point.