Governor Cuomo Denies Plot to Oust Shelly Silver

(Photo: Getty)

(Photo: Getty)

Although the New York Post ran a front-page story today reporting that Governor Andrew Cuomo is seriously considering a coup d’etat against influential Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver, the governor himself is denying any such scheme exists.

“It is wholly up to the legislative bodies to select a leader,” Mr. Cuomo said on The Capitol Pressroom this morning. “I would never, even for a moment, try to influence that decision.”

The report, which is already subject to some rivalry between the Post and the New York Daily News, further claimed that Mr. Cuomo’s motivation for the ousting came from last week’s high-profile corruption scandals. But Mr. Cuomo said today that he didn’t even view the main scandal as an Albany problem.

“In terms of Speaker Silver, remember again the context. First of all, this is basically–the actions that have been revealed, the majority of the actions and the players–it was about a New York City mayoral scandal,” he argued. “It was not an Albany scandal; I know we now use ‘Albany’ as sort of a broad brush to mean all electoral and campaign issues, but it was primarily about New York City.”

The Capitol Pressroom‘s host, Susan Arbetter, pointed out that two of those involved, Assemblymen Nelson Castro and Eric Stevenson, were allegedly involved in a bribery plot that involved drafting legislation in the State Assembly, but Mr. Cuomo insisted that Mr. Silver could not be held at fault for that incident either.

“Then you had two assemblymen, who were relative newcomers to the Assembly I might add,” he explained. “These are people who knew the law, they knew they spoke about violating the law and they knew people went to jail for it. And these people, as individuals, decided to break the law; that’s what they did. And now they’re going to be punished. So I don’t know what culpability you could place on anyone but those individuals.”

Mr. Cuomo went on to tout his recent budget negotiations with the State Legislature and said things have been “going well” with Mr. Silver. Governor Cuomo Denies Plot to Oust Shelly Silver