William “Doc” Spencer gave up his leadership posts Thursday in the Suffolk County Legilsature, two days after he was arrested on charges of trying to trade drugs for sexual favors, Newsday reported.
He had served as Democratic majority leader and chairman of the legislative health committee. But Robert Calarco, presiding officer, said Spencer would not resign his seat and deserved a chance to defend himself, Newsday said.
“There is nothing in the law that requires a legislator to resign while charges are pending, and while the allegations against Legislator Spencer are serious, he is entitled to his day in court,” Calarco said in a statement to Newsday.
Spencer, a physician, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to two B felonies, third-degree sale of a controlled substance and third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. Spencer, 53, was arrested Tuesday when he met someone he believed was a prostitute behind the Goodwill store in Elwood, planning to trade two oxycodone pills for sex. The contact was actually an undercover agent, and he was arrested.