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Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver Arrested for Corruption Charges

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One of our state's most powerful politicians is under arrest.

New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is facing public corruption charges.

He's accused of using his position to obtain millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks masked as legitimate income from an outside law practice.

Silver is accused of taking about four million dollars in payments characterized as attorney referral fees.

"Over his decade in office, Speaker Silver has amassed Titanic political power. But as alleged, during that same time Silver also amassed a tremendous personal fortune through the abuse of that political power," said U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.

"I just feel he should step down as Speaker. I think that it's incumbent upon the majority in the Assembly to demand that resignation and let them move on with a new person that will lead the charge in the Assembly," said Assemblyman Clifford Crouch (R-122nd District).

Democratic Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo did not agree to an interview but did release a statement which read in part:

“We will have to let the criminal justice system run its course. We’ll know more when we hear directly from the Speaker on Monday. In the meantime, we have serious work that needs to be done and we can’t let this sidetrack us.”