Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver came out Monday in support of Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy, who has faced ethical questions after he briefly pursued a job with a Rochester-based business group.
“Unquestionably, Bob Duffy has done an outstanding job as lieutenant governor both in representing the Cuomo administration and in addressing the interests and concerns expressed by New Yorkers in every region of our state,” Silver said. “I consider Bob a friend and colleague who brings integrity and character to our government and I hope he will continue to serve our state for many years to come.”
Silver’s statement appears to be in response to a column by The New York Post’s Fred Dicker on Monday, which said aides to Silver, D-Manhattan, and Senate Co-Leader Jeff Klein, D-Bronx, had discussed asking the state Moreland Commission to investigate Duffy’s dealings with the Rochester Business Alliance. Duffy admitted last month that he interviewed with the business group on Oct. 5 without informing Cuomo first.
The Moreland Commission, an anti-corruption panel formed by Cuomo earlier this year, has had its sights on the Legislature, with lawmakers pushing back against subpoenas and requests for information about their outside income.
In his statement, Silver makes clear that he thinks highly of Duffy, though he doesn’t directly rebut the claims made in the Post column. (UPDATE: Following up in an email, Silver spokesman Michael Whyland said Assembly Democrats have “not contemplated nor are we considering calling for any action regarding the Lieutenant Governor.”)
“I have known and worked with Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy for many years, first as Rochester’s chief of police and later as that city’s mayor, and he has always been a strong advocate for his community,” Silver said. “It has been my privilege to serve with him for nearly three years and my admiration for his skill and energy has only grown.”