After an afternoon and evening of marathon meetings, Sheldon Silver’s colleagues in the state Assembly have decided he cannot continue to serve as speaker. Capital has the late details:
After five hours behind closed doors, the State Assembly’s Democrats said they had lost confidence in Sheldon Silver, the chamber’s long-time speaker, and were asking for his resignation. “The speaker can no longer serve as the speaker and he must resign,” Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh of Manhattan, told reporters. “If the speaker does not make that decision, he should understand that he’s lost the confidence of a majority of our conference.”
Earlier, State of Politics reported:
Lawmakers said Silver is being given the ultimatum of stepping down as speaker, a post he’s held since 1994, or finding an interim leader who would assume his responsibilities and powers as he fights five federal corruption charges.
Silver, who was charged in a federal corruption case last week, had been hoping to simply hand off many of his duties to other lawmakers while retaining his position. But Assembly Democrats decided against that plan. There’s no agreement on a new speaker as of yet.
Silver has represented the Lower East Side since 1976. He is under no obligation to resign his seat. He would only be forced to do that if convicted.
Kavanagh has emerged as a leader in the deliberations surrounding Sheldon Silver’s future. He represents the 74th Assembly District, just to the north of Silver’s 65th District.
UPDATED 11:26 p.m. More from Albany:
RT @NickReisman: Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle emerges from conversation with Silver. “Clearly folks have raised concerns.”
— Capital Tonight (@CapitalTonight) January 27, 2015
Morelle: “I don’t know what the speaker is going to do.”
— Nick Reisman (@NickReisman) January 27, 2015
UPDATE 12:07 a.m. Silver made brief public remarks late tonight. The Daily News reports:
A glum Silver, who would still keep his seat even if he resigns his leadership position, wouldn’t tip his hand to reporters. “I have not told anyone that I am resigning,” he said. “I am the speaker,” he said. But asked if he would fight, Silver said, “I’m not fighting. Do I look like I’m fighting.” Silver said he will meet with his conference again on Tuesday–“and we will deal with it in public.” … Silver, 70, was in the meeting for about a half hour before leaving to allow his members to consider his fate. “I made no message except to tell them that I intend to be fully exonerated,” he said.