Smith's Minority Chair

It looks like the shake-up of the Senate Democratic leadership by newly installed minority leader Malcolm Smith is still underway.

According to a Democratic source in the Senate, Smith is expected to name John Sampson of Brooklyn as Chair of the Senate minority conference, replacing the twice-indicted Efrain Gonzalez of the Bronx.

Sampson’s ties to former Brooklyn boss Clarence Norman were a nagging problem for him during his race for Brooklyn District Attorney, but they shouldn’t matter in his new leadership role. After all, Gonzalez held the position while dealing with legal troubles, as did previous chairAda Smith.

UPDATE: John Sampson just called to say that he was offered the leadership position, but that he turned it down and that it was subsequently accepted by Martin Dilan.

When I asked Sampson why he turned it down, he offered some vague answers.

“I just declined. I just turned it down,” he said. “I’m a type of person that, I’m not looking for a leadership position, I’m just looking to serve my constituents.”

When I asked what kind of salary perk or staff boost came with being the conference’s secretary, Samspon said, “I don’t know about that. All I know is that it comes with more work.”

— Azi Paybarah

Smith's Minority Chair