Senate Leadership Deal Turning to Dust

ALBANY—Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. confirmed the agreement between three renegade state senators and Senator Malcolm Smith to parcel out leadership positions is on the verge of falling apart.

“I’m still living up to my part of the agreement,” said Diaz, one of the members of the Gang of Three. “But the other parties have to live up to the other part of the agreement. I met with men honor and I hope that they are men of honor. I know they are men of honor and I trust them, that they will live up to the agreement we reached.”

Diaz declined to get into specific grievances.

His fellow rebel, Senator-elect Pedro Espada Jr. of the Bronx, told The New York Times he was dismayed by reports and rhetoric that his position – widely reported as majority leader – would be largely ceremonial.

Liz spoke to the third member of the gang, Carl Kruger, who said that a formal statement will be issued within 24 hours “unless something changes drastically.”

A source close to the Gang of Three said that the 24-hour period was to designed to give Governor David Paterson time to try and patch things up between the parties.

A Paterson spokesman did not have an immediate comment. The governor will be speaking at a bar association event this evening in Manhattan.

Selvena Brooks, a spokeswoman for Malcolm Smith, said “he will continue to have dialogue with Senator-elect Espada.”

Senate Leadership Deal Turning to Dust