The co-leader of the state Senate has stripped Sen. Malcolm Smith of his committee memberships and leadership posts and said he should consider stepping down.
“As a result of these charges, I have made the decision to strip Senator Smith of his committee assignments and of his conference leadership position,” Klein said in a statement. “By participating in the alleged scheme, Senator Smith breached the trust of the Independent Democratic Conference.”
Klein wasted little time in making the call. Smith’s leadership positions have already been stripped from outside his Albany office, and a painting crew is gearing up to paint over it.
Smith only joined the five-member Independent Democratic Conference in December as the breakaway caucus was gearing up to join forces with Senate Republicans to control the chamber and keep Senate Democrats out of power. Smith is the only non-white member of the majority coalition.
Klein’s full statement — in which he urges Smith to consider resigning — is after the jump.
“These are very serious allegations that, if true, constitute a clear betrayal of the public trust. As a result of these charges, I have made the decision to strip Senator Smith of his committee assignments and of his conference leadership position. By participating in the alleged scheme, Senator Smith breached the trust of the Independent Democratic Conference. I trust that the U.S. attorney’s office will act expeditiously to resolve this matter and to ensure that justice is served. Finally, given the level of criminality alleged, I believe that Senator Smith should seriously consider whether or not he can continue to effectively serve his constituents.”