Disgraced Sheldon Silver to be Replaced as Assembly Speaker on Monday

Posted on: January 28th, 2015 at 5:20 am by
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Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

Disgraced Assembly Speaker (and Grand Street stalwart) Sheldon Silver, currently facing criminal charges for accepting millions in bribes and kickbacks, is on the hot seat yet refuses to resign his political post. Nevertheless, according to the New York Times, Rochester-area assemblyman Joseph D. Morelle will take the reins as interim speaker on Monday. He’s widely believed to be the permanent replacement. Election for the speaker position is scheduled for February 10.

Among the other contenders were Joseph R. Lentol, a longtime assemblyman from Brooklyn; Catherine Nolan of Queens, who leads the Education Committee; and Keith L. T. Wright, a longtime African-American lawmaker from Harlem who is the Manhattan Democratic leader and a former state Democratic co-chairman.

Mr. Wright, who was one of the first Assembly Democrats to call for Mr. Silver’s resignation, said he would seek the speakership, citing his “great experience” and more than two decades in office. “I’ve been here. This is the body that I love; this is the institution that I love,” he said. “And that’s why I’m trying to do right by it.”

Amid the behind-the-scenes wrangling on Tuesday, there were intimations of maneuvering by everyone from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to Mayor Bill de Blasio, though aides to both men denied it.

The next speaker will lead the Assembly’s negotiations over the state budget with the governor and the Republican-controlled State Senate, for which the deadline is April 1.

Silver was first elected to the New York State Assembly in 1976, and became its speaker eighteen years later.

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