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State Republican Chairman Ed Cox on Wednesday called on two party leaders named in the Sen. Malcolm Smith scandal to resign immediately.
Cox said Bronx GOP Chairman Joseph Jay Savino and Queens GOP Vice-Chairman Vincent Tabone should quit their party posts.
As elected officers of the Republican Party, Chairman Savino and Vice-Chairman Tabone were entrusted to act in the best interest of the people of the city and state of New York. They have violated that interest and must resign, Cox said in a statement.
Savino and Tabone were accused of accepting bribes to try to secure authorization for Smith (D-Hollis) to get on the Republican primary ballot for New York City mayor. Tabone and Savino were each charged with conspiracy and wire fraud, which carry up to 25 years in prison.
For more on the scandal, heres the initial story, Dan Janisons column, a take on Queens as scandal leader, a look at Malcolm Smiths career , an overview of NYC mayoral ballot maneuvering and the latest on the Rockland County ties to the probe.
UPDATE: Tabone has stepped down from his GOP post. And, as if this story can get more tangled, he's been suspended from his job working for a firm headed by a separate Republican candidate.
Tabone has been working as lawyer for Red Apple Group - headed by grocery magnate John Catsimatidis, who also is seeking the Republican nomination. Also, Tabone has been a consultant to Catsimatidis' campaign. Since the charges were filed, Tabone quit campaign and has been suspended from his job.