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Report: Assembly Democrats reject Silver, deliberate over next step


Update: 9:10 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 27 --

Assembly Democrats are planning to huddle behind closed doors again in Albany today, trying to decide their next move.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is facing serious corruption charges that he used his position as speaker to illegally gain millions of dollars for his personal use, has now lost the confidence of his Assembly Democratic conference to lead the chamber. After closed door meetings, the Democrats have not yet decided what do do next. Plans to install a five member temporary leadership team, and then a two member team, were considered -- then rejected.

Despite the pressure, Silver has not ye resigned or ceded his leadership post. Assembly Democrats are expected to meet in private starting at noon today, to try to resolve what's become a leadership crisis.

Originally published: 6 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 27 --

After meeting behind closed doors for hours on Monday, Assembly Democrats are expected to ask Sheldon Silver to resign as speaker, after Silver was arrested last week on federal corruption charges. 

Earlier in the day Monday, Silver reportedly presented a plan to Assembly Democrats where Silver would temporarily relinquish power of the Assembly to a group of five Democrats, who would handle upcoming budget negotiations. But many Democrats, including Gov. Andrew Cuomo, did not agree with Silver's plan. During a winter storm briefing Monday, Cuomo was critical of the plan.

"Management by committee is something I've never been a fan of and I've never seen it work well," said Cuomo. "I don't understand how you negotiate with a committee." 

Throughout the day on Monday, more and more Democrats began calling on Silver to step down, including Syracuse-area Democrat Assemblyman Al Stirpe. By the time the meeting ended around 10 p.m. Monday, dozens of Democrats were calling on the speaker to resign. 

"We can't procrastinate anymore. It's time for Speaker Silver to step down and let's get some true leadership in Albany," said Michael Kearns, a Democrat from the Buffalo-area. 

Democrats are expected to continue their closed-door meetings on Tuesday, with a decision on Silver's future as speaker expected sometime during the day. 

Jason has served as WRVO's news director in some capacity since August 2017. As news director, Jason produces hourly newscasts, and helps direct local news coverage and special programming. Before that, Jason hosted Morning Edition on WRVO from 2009-2019. Jason came to WRVO in January of 2008 as a producer/reporter. Before that, he spent two years as an anchor/reporter at WSYR Radio in Syracuse.
Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau Chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 public radio stations in New York State. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.