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Thursday, May 7, 2015

Rob Ortt
ALBANY — State Sen. Rob Ortt, R-North Tonawanda, said Wednesday evening that he would support a motion — or sponsor one if necessary — to replace state Sen. Majority Leader Dean Skelos.

Skelos and his son were both arrested Monday on federal corruption charges, alleging that the majority leader directed companies doing business with the state to do business with his son in exchange for preferential treatment. According to the filing, those companies included a real-estate developer and a technology company.

Ortt was one of the first Republican senators to say that he didn't think Skelos could effectively lead the state's senior legislative body in a statement he released Tuesday calling on Skelos to step aside as majority leader. Skelos has not stepped aside so now Ortt is saying it's time for others to act.

Ortt's full statement to the press follows:
When the Senate returns to session, I will be supporting, with a heavy heart, a motion, or submitting one of my own if required, to replace Senator Skelos as Majority Leader.

“Senator Skelos has done a lot of good work for New York State. But, one thing I learned fighting in Afghanistan is that being a leader means doing what's best for the people you serve, not yourself, even if it’s painful or unpopular.

“The Senate Conference is bigger than one individual. We have critical issues facing us in New York, and we need a leader who can effectively advocate for Upstate New York without the cloud surrounding the current Senate leadership.”

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