Irondequoit, NY (WROC) - Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle is coming to the defense of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.
"There's a presumption of innocence and the Speaker will have his day in court," Morelle said.
Silver's accused of getting paid millions by several law firms without doing any legal work. He's also accused of referring clients to those firms who had business with the state. Prosecutors also said he helped developers secure tax breaks. Some are condemning Morelle for supporting him.
"I don't think he should have done it so fast. Maybe he knows something I don't know. Politicians play the game all the time," said Irondequoit resident, Dick Judge. "They protect each other. Does it help us? I don't think so," he added. "He should've at least looked at the complaint. I think that was kind of lame, myself, " expressed Barry Amorese.
Others, like Irondequoit resident Deena Rocco can understand Morelle's position. "I guess I would until he's proven guilty. I could see why he's doing it. I mean he's kind of got to. He's in the party and that's what people do in the party," she said. "He hasn't been convicted of anything. When it happens, it happens," Irondequoit resident John Mayer added.
Many have called for Silver's resignation as Assembly Speaker. Morelle isn't one of them. "The members believe, and I believe, and the Speaker believes that right now he can continue to function," Morelle expressed.
That is the plan. Silver is expected back in Albany on Monday. "Whether it's been education funding, whether it's been human rights and civil rights, not only I, but the men and women of the Democratic Conference have been not only supportive but I think incredibly grateful for his leadership," Morelle said.
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