Assemblyman Vito Lopez’s office just sent out the following statement from the embattled Brooklyn lawmaker, who was censured and stripped of his staff and seniority last week after a bipartisan ethics committee determined he had sexually harassed two female staffers:

“The charges made against me are unfair and untrue. Never did I intentionally touch or attempt to kiss either of the complainants. I have never forced myself on anyone, nor would I.”

“I pride myself on over 40 years of dedicated public service, almost 30 of which as a State Assemblyman. During these years, I have helped tens of thousands of people with absolutely no goal of personal gain and just for the gratification of knowing I have improved peoples’ lives.”

“”More importantly, I have proudly worked with thousands of community and religious leaders, men and women from a broad cross section of my district, city and state.”

“I urge my friends and colleagues not to allow the media to determine a dedicated public servant’s fate. I have no intention of resigning and instead look forward to continuing to represent my constituents to the best of my ability.”

So, it looks like Lopez is digging in.

Absent his conviction on charges (which have not yet been filed), the Assembly can’t follow the lead of the Senate and try to oust him like they did with former Sen. Hiram Monserrate after he was convicted of assaulting his girlfriend.

The Brooklyn Democrats are meeting next week at at least one Lopez rival will reportedly challenge him for the chairmanship.

Also, I asked Lopez aide Andy Marte why his boss hadn’t appeared before the ethics committee in person to defend himself if he feels so strongly that he’s innocent. He replied:

“Because he sent a detailed response letter to the committee at the recommendation of his counsel. Is that not enough defense? The complainants charges were in writing and he responded in writing at the advice of his lawyer.”