State Sen. Malcolm Smith will no longer serve as chair of the Independent Democratic Conference and lost his committee assignments after being arrested Tuesday morning on charges he tried to bribe New York City Republican leaders in order to run for mayor on the GOP line.
Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeff Klein announced Tuesday afternoon that Smith has been stripped of his committee and leadership posts. Smith chaired the IDC, served as chairman of the Senate Social Service committee, vice chairman of the Senate Finance committee and co-chaired the Senate bipartisan task force on Hurricane Sandy relief. He was also a member of several other committees, including Codes and Judiciary.
In a statement, Klein didn't say Smith should resign, but did call on Smith to "seriously consider whether or not he can continue to effectively serve his constituents."
"These are very serious allegations that, if true, constitute a clear betrayal of the public trust," Klein said. "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."
Smith joined the Independent Democratic Conference in December when Klein and Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos announced that the GOP and IDC would lead the Senate as part of a bipartisan coalition.
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Previously, Smith was a member of the Senate Democratic Conference. He held the title of minority leader from 2007 until 2009, when Democrats won the majority and Smith was named majority leader. He relinquished that title in the summer of 2009 after the infamous "coup" shook up the Senate.
Smith faces conspiracy and wire fraud charges, along with charges that he violated the Hobbs Act. If convicted, Smith could spend up to 45 years in prison.