By LOUIS FLORES
Embattled New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Lower East Side) has submitted a resignation letter in which he agrees to step down from his speakership position. The resignation is set to take effect at 11:59 p.m. Monday, February 2, multiple reports show.
Speaker Silver plans to continue to represent his district as an Assemblymember.
The swift collapse of Speaker Silver's hold on power has been being negotiated behind closed door meetings by the Democratic Party conference members of the Assembly, with Speaker Silver asserting all along that he was not going to step down voluntarily.
Speaker Silver was arrested on Thursday, January 22, on order by federal prosecutors on five counts of corruption. His arrest followed reports that U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara was investigating Speaker Silver regarding undeclared streams of payments that Speaker Silver received.
Speaker has served in the Assembly for over 37 years, the last 20 of which was as the legislative house's speaker. Speaker Silver did not immediately answer a request for an interview. Any information received shall appear in a future update.
U.S. Attorney Bharara is on a crusade to clean up corruption from New York State. Over the several years, the U.S. Attorney has arrested several public officials on charges of corruption or fraud.
At a speech one week ago at New York Law School, U.S. Attorney Bharara denounced the corrupt "three men in a room" power structure, which Speaker Silver came to embody, that, U.S. Attorney Bharara said has undermined public faith in government and in democracy.
Assemblymember Catherine Nolan (D-Ridgewood) is one of the candidates seeking to succeed Speaker Silver as the Assembly's top leader. She faces a serious challenge by Assemblymember Carl Heastie (D-The Bronx), around whom the Democratic Party county organisations are coalescing.
The Democratic Party conference of Democrats have previously announced intentions to appoint an interim speaker on Tuesday.