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NY Assembly Speaker Takes Leave of Absence from NYC Law Firm

NY Assembly Speaker Takes Leave of Absence from NYC Law Firm
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Law firm says they had no knowledge of Silver's alleged practices

New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is taking a leave of absence from his law firm as he fights federal corruption charges. 

New York City-based Weitz & Luxenberg announced the separation Wednesday. President Perry Weitz says the firm was "shocked" to learn about the accusations against Silver.

The 70-year-old Manhattan Democrat faces charges that he took nearly $4 million in payoffs and kickbacks. Some of the charges relate to allegations that Silver collected money for securing state grants for a doctor who then referred cases to the firm. 

Weitz says the firm had no knowledge of the of the alleged arrangement. Silver has said he expects to be exonerated. 

The Assembly's Democratic majority announced Tuesday that Silver had agreed to relinquish his position as speaker, which he has held for 21 years.