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Skelos To Remain Senate Majority Leader

(AP Photo/Mike Groll)

Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, who turned himself in to federal authorities on corruption charges Monday, will remain in his position, Republicans announced after a more than three hour closed door meeting Monday night.

Skelos, who is charged with using his political position to enrich himself and his son in a bribery and extortion scheme, did not speak to the media. Republican conference chair Ken LaValle, who, like Skelos, is also from Long Island, spoke for the group.

“The leader has indicated he would like to remain as leader, and he has the support of the conference” said Lavalle. “The conference wants to get back working, starting tomorrow.”

LaValle said he and the other Republicans believe in “presumption of innocence,” and that no vote was held on any possible successors to Skelos. He admitted the agreement is not unanimous, though, instead describing it as a “strong consensus.”

Earlier in the day, Senators John Bonacic of the Hudson Valley and Rich Funke of Rochester said that Skelos should step down as leader.

LaValle said in the remaining weeks of session, the Senate GOP will “focus” on issues including renewal of New York City’s rent laws, and changes to the controversial Common Core learning standards and related standardized tests.

Karen has covered state government and politics for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 New York and Connecticut stations, since 1990. She is also a regular contributor to the statewide public television program about New York State government, New York Now. She appears on the reporter’s roundtable segment, and interviews newsmakers.
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