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Interim Assembly Speaker Will Be Installed Monday; Silver Won’t “Hinder Process” (Updated)

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There’s no resolution late this afternoon on when – or even if – Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver intends to resign his leadership post.

During a five-hour caucus meeting last night, Democratic lawmakers sent the word to Silver that they wanted him to resign. In brief, cryptic remarks after the session, the speaker sounded partly defiant but also non-committal. It is unclear whether members have the votes to remove Silver from his position.

Assembly members are back behind closed doors today. It appears there’s no consensus on who should replace Silver or even the process for selecting a new leader.

Silver has held his Lower Manhattan seat since 1976. He could not be compelled to give it up unless convicted. Silver faces federal corruption charges for allegedly using his position to profit millions of dollars.

Here’s some of what the Albany press contingent is hearing:

 

UPDATE 7:40 p.m. In statement a short time ago, Assembly Democrats announced that they would install an interim speaker, Joe Morelle, at the time of their next meeting on Monday. Capital Tonight reports:

Morelle, standing alongside his Democratic colleagues in a news conference shortly after 7 p.m., said there would be “vacancy in the office of the speaker” come Monday. That is widely believed to be the closest Democrats are willing to say publicly that Silver is being given the ultimatum of leaving on his own terms or facing an embarrassing public vote in the Assembly.

Under the deal, Morelle will serve until Feb. 10, when an election for a new speaker will be held.

UPDATE 7:55 p.m. And now we’ve heard from Silver:

 

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