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NY Assembly considers rewriting rules after speaker's arrest

Associated Press logoAssociated Press 1/28/2015 DAVID KLEPPER and MICHAEL VIRTANEN
Sheldon Silver: FILE - In this April 18, 2012 file photo, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan speaks during an affordable housing news conference at the Capitol in Albany, N.Y. Silver, who has been one of the most powerful men in Albany for more than two decades, was arrested Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015 on public corruption charges. © AP Photo/Mike Groll FILE - In this April 18, 2012 file photo, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan speaks during an affordable housing news conference at the Capitol in Albany, N.Y. Silver, who has been one of the most powerful men in Albany for more than two decades, was arrested Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015 on public corruption charges.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Reformers in the New York Assembly want to rewrite the rules to limit backroom dealing and to disperse power after helping force one of the state's most influential politicians to relinquish authority.

In two days of closed-door talks, the Assembly's majority Democrats reached consensus on two major changes: Democratic Speaker Sheldon Silver will vacate his post by Monday, and they'll take two weeks to choose his successor.

That's intended to give candidates time to make their intentions clear and colleagues time to evaluate them openly.

Silver was accused last week by federal prosecutors of influencing legislation and awarding grants to collect almost $4 million in kickbacks over a decade. He led the chamber for 21 years and exercised strong central control.

He declined to immediately resign, predicting he'll be exonerated.


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