POLITICS

New York Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos Resigns Amid Corruption Charges

05/11/2015 04:07 pm ET | Updated May 11, 2016

May 11 (Reuters) - New York State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos on Monday said he would resign his leadership post a week after being charged in a corruption scheme involving his son, and was replaced by a fellow senator from Long Island, two lawmakers said.

Skelos told other Republican senators during a closed-door meeting that he would step down. Sen. John Flanagan was elected to replace him, according to Sens. Kenneth LaValle and Philip Boyle.

Skelos, whose office did not immediately have comment and it remained unclear whether he would resign from the Long Island Senate seat he has held for 30 years.

Federal authorities last week charged Skelos, 67, and his son Adam, 32, with extortion and soliciting bribes, in the latest of a string of criminal cases against state legislators.

Prosecutors said Skelos pressured a real estate developer and an environmental technology company to pay his son more than $200,000 in exchange for his support on infrastructure and legislation.

Skelos, who has maintained his innocence, is the fifth consecutive majority leader of the state Senate to face criminal corruption charges.

The charges against Skelos came as former state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver faces a November trial on charges that he received kickbacks for steering business to two law firms. Silver, who has pleaded not guilty, resigned as speaker shortly after the charges were unveiled in January.

Flanagan, a 54-year-old lawyer, was first elected to the Senate in 2002. (Reporting By Daniel Wiessner; Editing by Christian Plumb)

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