New York State Assemblyman Mickey Kearns claims "People knew Sheldon Silver was corrupt" and says he has long sought the removal of the State Assembly Speaker from office. Kearns comments follow word that Silver will step down as Speaker on Monday as he faces federal corruption charges.
Kearns says he wasn't initially involved in the Democratic Caucus that led to word that Silver will be stepping down but he says he did speak with colleagues, noting he believes this week's closed door meetings where to help those who where on the fence about how to handle Silver's arrest.
Kearns says "People knew Sheldon Silver was corrupt, but this is the interesting thing... They said 'we can't change things' and when I advocated for it they said 'Mickey, he's good for business.' In Albany the status quo is what keeps things moving. Keep the budgets coming on time. Keep the wheels rolling. The lobbyist like it... To me, when you have a corrupt person as a leader, you need to stand up to that."
Kearns believes Silver's resignation from his Speaker position leaves Governor Cuomo in a good position, noting he has an opportunity to do something historical.
"This Moreland Commission is so important. Whether it's bringing it back or forming an independent group to look at the evidence and to subpoena those records. It's important because people have lost their confidence in Albany," said Kearns.
Kearns compares the atmosphere in Albany to "watching a CSI show while you're at work." He notes five of his colleagues have been taken out of the Legislative Chambers in handcuffs during his three years in Albany.
"You couldn't make this stuff up if you were writing a movie," he says.
In regards to a new Speaker, Kearns says before he supports anyone the rules need to change in Albany, noting all the power is currently concentrated into one person's hands.