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Ortt supports stripping Skelos of power as Senate leader

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 May 2015 at 12:00 am

State Sen. Robert Ortt, R-North Tonawanda, says Dean Skelos should step down as leader of the State Senate.

Skelos faces federal extortion charges that he used his political influence to direct business deals for his son, Adam Skelos.

Skelos, a Republican from Long Island, leads the State Senate, where Republicans have a narrow majority. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara brought the corruption charges against Skelos.

Ortt issued this statement this evening:

“When the Senate returns to session, I will be supporting, with a heavy heart, a motion, or submitting one of my own if required, to replace Senator Skelos as Majority Leader.

“Senator Skelos has done a lot of good work for New York State. But, one thing I learned fighting in Afghanistan is that being a leader means doing what’s best for the people you serve, not yourself, even if it’s painful or unpopular.

“The Senate Conference is bigger than one individual. We have critical issues facing us in New York, and we need a leader who can effectively advocate for Upstate New York without the cloud surrounding the current Senate leadership.”