Powerful NY Assembly Speaker Gives Up Duties As He Fights Corruption Charges

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January 26, 2015 8:15 a.m.
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Powerful New York state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D) agreed Sunday to temporarily give up his duties as he fights federal corruption charges, the New York Times reported.

Silver, who’s been speaker since 1994, would not give up his post under the tentative arrangement. Instead, he would delegate his speaker duties to five senior Democratic members of the Assembly.

“The speaker is not stepping down,” Silver spokesman Michael Whyland told the Times. Whyland added that the arrangement “will give him the flexibility he needs so that he can defend himself against these charges, and he is confident that he will be found innocent.”

Silver was arrested Thursday on public corruption charges and later released. A five-count criminal complaint alleged he used the power of the speaker’s office to obtain $4 million in kickbacks and bribes disguised as income.

The Assembly’s Democratic caucus is expected to discuss the proposed arrangement Monday afternoon in a closed-door meeting, according to the Times.

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