Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo on Friday notified officials he is negotiating a job with Northeastern University, formally paving the way for him to step down from his role.
In a letter to House officials, DeLeo — the longest-serving speaker in the state history — disclosed his intent to hold discussions with the school, emphasizing he had yet to hold any such talks.
“I write to disclose that I intend to begin negotiating prospective employment opportunities with Northeastern University,” DeLeo wrote.
DeLeo said he asked his personal legal counsel to contact the Massachusetts State Ethics Commission to “ensure compliance” with laws designed to protect against conflict of interests.
The Democrat from Winthrop has been speaker for more than 10 years after being elected to the House of Representatives in 1990.
DeLeo went to college at Northeastern before getting his law degree at Suffolk University Law School.
DeLeo’s departure will set up a scramble to see who will take his place.
The heir apparent is House Majority Leader Ron Mariano of Quincy, but that is by no means a lock. State Rep. Russell Homes has confirmed to NBC10 Boston’s Alison King he will run for the post.