Buffalo Assemblyman Michael Kearns announced today that he is leaving the Democratic Conference until Sheldon Silver steps down as Speaker. The lawmaker, elected in a 2012 Special Election, told the assembled press that nothing can change his mind at this point and he expects to "suffer the consequence of this," referring to a possible retaliatory loss of staff by the longtime Democratic Speaker.
Numerous editorials across the state, including ones from The Buffalo News and The New York Times, have called on the Manhattan leader of the Assembly to step down after his handling of the sexual harassment charges against the now-departed Vito Lopez. Silver is sitting down with his fellow Democrats in the chamber this afternoon in a closer-door meeting. It's expected he will discuss new reforms in response to the Vito Lopez scandal.