Assemblyman Kevin Cahill, D-Kingston, says after a five-hour meeting in Albany Monday with his Democratic Conference to discuss the role of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, no formal conclusions have been made.
Last week Silver, D-Manhattan, was charged in a corruption scheme by Preet Bharara, the hard-charging U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. He was arrested on charges that he used his official position to pocket nearly $4 million in bribes and kickbacks from people and businesses in exchange for official favors.
In Cahill’s first public comments since Silver’s arrest he doesn’t specifically say whether he supports Silver or if he thinks he should step down. Instead, he says the Democratic conference came to the conclusion Monday that they must “remain focused on the needs of the people of the State of New York and that we should proceed accordingly.”
On Tuesday, the New York Times reported that many Democrats in the Assembly had lost confidence in Silver and that he had until Tuesday to either step down or be ousted.
Cahill, a top dog in Ulster county politics, also holds an influential chairmanship on the Assembly’s Insurance Committee and is a member of the Committee on Economic Development, Job Creation, Commerce and Industry, the Committee on Ethics and Guidance, the Committee on Health, the Committee on Higher Education and the Committee on Ways and Means.
Cahill released his comments Monday morning. After the release, a member of Cahill’s staff said Cahill would likely have more to say after another conference Tuesday.
“The Democratic Conference will reconvene today and continue to work on a plan to assure an on-time budget and a progressive agenda. Our decision about leadership going forward will be to advance those goals,” Cahill said.
On the day of Silver’s arrest assemblymembers in our region were split along party lines on their support of Silver. Democrats have shown tepid support while Republicans have called for him to step down. You can read my story on those comments here.