NY Assembly Speaker to Step Down

New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver will step aside from his leadership post in the wake of federal corruption charges, the Daily News reported Sunday, citing a source with direct knowledge of the deal. Silver will be succeeded by five veteran Assembly Democrats, who will run the chamber in his place, including Majority Leader Joseph Morelle (D-Rochester), Herman “Denny” Farrell (D-Manhattan), Joseph Lentol (D-Brooklyn), Cathy Nolan (D-Queens), and Carl Heastie (D-Bronx). Weather permitting, Silver is expected to address the members Monday as well as hold a press conference with the new leaders. “The speaker is not stepping down,” Silver’s spokesman Michael Whyland said. “He is appointing a group of senior members.... This 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 is free on $200,000 bail for federal corruption charges that allege he took nearly $4 million in bribes and kickbacks.