NY Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to step down amid criminal charges

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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Sheldon Silver, the longtime leader of the New York state Assembly, has agreed to step down by Monday in the wake of federal corruption charges.

Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Morelle of Rochester announced the move Tuesday. Morelle will serve as acting speaker until a new one is elected by Feb. 10.

Silver, a Manhattan Democrat, is accused of using his influence to pocket almost $4 million in kickbacks. The 70-year-old has said he expects to be exonerated.

He is currently the nation's second longest-serving speaker and considered one of the most powerful men in New York state.