Greising: Life After an Iron-Grip House Speaker? New York Found a Way; Illinois Can Too.

Former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was ousted due to allegations of fraud and corruption. Whether Silver's past is Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan's prologue remains to be seen.

Former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

BGA President David Greising writes every other week for the Chicago Tribune Opinion section.

For more than two decades he controlled the state legislature as speaker. He was the head of the state Democratic Party. He vied with governors and mayors to be the state’s most powerful elected official.

Yet when the time came — when the allegations of fraud and corruption made it impossible for him to do his job — his legislative colleagues did not cower. They took control.

The Democratic lawmakers met in caucus and excused him from the room. Before the meeting ended, they ousted him as speaker. His days as a power broker had come to an end.

The politician in question was Sheldon Silver, ousted as the longtime leader of the New York Assembly in 2015. And whether Silver’s past is Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan’s prologue remains to be seen.  

Read more at chicagotribune.com.