ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Sheldon Silver, the longtime leader of the New York state Assembly, has agreed to step down by Monday in the wake of federal corruption charges.

Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Morelle of Rochester announced the move Tuesday. Morelle will serve as acting speaker until a new one is elected by Feb. 10.

Silver, a Manhattan Democrat, is accused of using his influence to pocket almost $4 million in kickbacks. The 70-year-old has said he expects to be exonerated.

He is currently the nation's second longest-serving speaker and considered one of the most powerful men in New York state.

Assemblywoman Claudia Tenneysays the decision of the Democratic Assembly caucus to replace Sheldon Silver on an interim basis is too little, too late.
She says the caucus should have ousted Silver in 2012 when he committed violations of Assembly ethics rules after it was revealed he wrongfully made secret payoff deals on sexual harassment claims.

Tenney says she's looking forward to working with Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Morelle until a new speaker is elected.

(additional reporting by Jim Rondenelli)