Senate leader standing by indicted Senator Ortt for now
Email share

The leader of the State Senate says indicted GOP member Rob Ortt is staying on, for now, to help work on the upcoming state budget vote and other issues.

Senate Republican Majority Leader John Flanagan says he’s sticking by Western New York Senator Rob Ortt for now, saying he can’t speculate on charges that Ortt, while Mayor of North Tonawanda, arranged for a no-show job for his wife in order to pad his own salary.

“I believe in our system of jurisprudence, and I have great faith in Rob Ortt,” Flanagan said. “He’s a good friend and a good colleague.”

The Senate leader says he did not ask for, nor did he expect, Ortt to resign from the Senate.

Flanagan would not comment on whether he believes that the prosecution, by state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, is “political”, as Ortt charged in a statement.

“That’s not for me to judge,” he said.

Senator Flanagan says Ortt, who was not in the chamber Thursday afternoon, will continue to work on issue of importance to his constituents.

The GOP has a tenuous hold on the Senate, with only 31 members. They hold the majority because one Democrat meets with the GOP.