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Silver’s Remarks on Paterson Scandal

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Mainstream media came out in force for a midday news conference in Chinatown to celebrate the return of residents to 22 James Street, a tenement building that was the scene of a devastating fire last year. We’ll have more on that in a little while. But first, the subject that brought most of those reporters and TV crews downtown: David Paterson.

The Speaker didn’t really say anything different than he’s said all week. He re-stated the Assembly’s commitment to working with the governor to resolve the state’s budget crisis. He said the most important thing is that “the people’s business” continues to be conducted, even though scandal has enveloped the governor’s administration.

“The allegations are very serious” and Paterson must address them, Silver added. When a reporter asked whether the governor needed to be “responding more than he has,” Silver responded, “I think he needs to make a public explanation of his activities.” He said Paterson was completely focused on the budget the last time they spoke, which was a couple of days ago.

Silver said he believes, more broadly, there’s an obligation to assure the public about the “integrity of government.”

He also indicated Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has made it clear he intends to wrap up his investigation as quickly as possible.

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