ALBANY - The State Senate’s independent Democratic conference isn’t so supportive of its Republican partners after GOP leader Dean Skelos was named in a criminal corruption complaint on Monday.
“The allegations outlined in the complaint against Senator Skelos are serious and disturbing,” said Sen. Jeff Klein (D-Bronx), who leads the Independent Democratic Conference, which works closely with the Republican majority.
Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) is accused of using his official position to gain big pay days for his son, Adam Skelos, through companies that do business with the state. Skelos said he is innocent of the charges.
“Elected officials must be held to the highest standards of conduct if they are to effectively represent their constituents and the people of New York,” Klein said. “The burden now falls on the Republican conference to determine if new Republican leadership is warranted.”
Klein’s five-member IDC broke away from the main Democratic conference in 2010 over its ethical scandals.
Republicans have a slim majority in the Senate, but even if Skelos should resign or lose his seat, Democrats couldn’t take over the majority even if they joined together.
“The reported charges against the Senate Republican Majority Leader Dean Skelos are deeply disturbing,” said Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers). “I cannot imagine him continuing to serve as leader as he deals with the cloud of corruption now affecting the top two Senate Republican leaders.“
She said the agenda for the past two months of the session can’t be “bogged down in scandal.”