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Politics and Government

State Senate Republicans to meet Monday, Skelos expected to step down as leader

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governorandrewcuomo
/
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State Sen. Dean Skelos, who is expected to step down as majority leader Monday

State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, who was arrested last week on federal corruption charges, is expected to step down from his leadership position later today, according to multiple reports. 

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Credit Durrie Bouscaren / WRVO File
Syracuse-area republican state Sen. John DeFrancisco, is said to be one of the senators who could be the next majority leader

The Buffalo News reported Sunday that Senate Republicans are expected to meet at 11 a.m. today, when Skelos would either step down from his leadership post or be forced out.

Skelos was charged with six counts of corruption last week. He's accused of using his influence in Albany to extort hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments to his son Adam from a real estate developer and a related environmental company. In exchange, Skelos protected the companies' business interests at the Capitol.

If Skelos steps aside as leader, the next question is who will replace him. Two names that have been talked about most are Sen. John Flanagan, also from Long Island, and Sen. John DeFrancisco from Syracuse. 

Skelos reportedly wants to keep the leadership downstate, and is supporting Flanagan to be the next leader. Many upstate senators are supporting DeFrancisco. 

A decision on the next leader could come as early as Monday afternoon. The Senate's session is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m.