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New York Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver plans break from duties

Speaker to step down temporarily from role and delegate responsibilities as he faces federal corruption charges, say sources
New York AssemblySpeakerSheldon Silverspeaks at microphones as he leaves thefederal cREUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Reuters –New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver agreed on Sunday to relinquish his duties on a temporary basis as he fights federal corruption charges, the New York Times reported, citing people briefed on the matter.

Silver's decision came amid mounting pressure from his fellow Democrats in the Assembly, who worried that the criminal charges would impair his ability to carry out the duties of one of the most powerful positions in New York's government, the newspaper reported.

Last week, Silver, a Democrat who has served as the highest-ranking state assemblyman since 1994, was charged with pocketing $4 million from bribery and kickback schemes.

The 70-year-old Silver, one of the state's most powerful politicians for more than two decades, would not permanently quit his post. Instead, he would temporarily delegate his duties as speaker to a group of senior Assembly members, the newspaper said.

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Reuters could not immediately reach Silver or his attorney, Steven Molo, for comment outside regular U.S. business hours.

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