Nadler (& Co.) Want Lopez To Resign (Updated)
Rep. Jerrold Nadler, whose district includes a swath of Brooklyn, is calling on Assemblyman Vito Lopez to resign after an Ethics Committee report found he had sexually harassed two of his female staffers.
“I applaud the work of both the bi-partisan Assembly Ethics Committee and Speaker Silver for the swift and judicious action in removing Assemblyman Vito Lopez from the Chairmanship of the Assembly Housing Committee and in taking other punitive steps as a result of the findings that Assemblyman Lopez was guilty of multiple acts of sexual harassment and abuse,” Nadler said in a statement.
“In light of the reprehensible conduct revealed by the Ethics Committee, I call upon Assembly Lopez to do the only honorable thing by immediately resigning his positions as a Member of the Assembly and as the County Chair of the Brooklyn Democratic Party.”
Earlier in the day, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver annonuced Lopez, a powerful political boss in Brooklyn, would lose his coveted Housing Committee chairmanship, a perch from which the lawmaker drew much of his influence.
Assembly candidate Brooklyn district Leader Lincoln Restler, a political opponent and staunch critic of Lopez, also called for his resignation.
UPDATE: (Liz writes: I believe he was the first to do so, which isn’t surprising, since Lopez has been actively trying to kill him – politically speaking – since his election.
He has been mentioned as a potential challenger to Lopez’s former staffer and protege, NYC Councilman Steve Levin. Thanks for the comments on Restler’s title, which has been fixed).
“Given the severity of these allegations, which the New York Assembly has called “credible,” Vito Lopez should immediately resign as Brooklyn Democratic Party Chairman,” Restler said.
“I hope all responsible elected officials in Brooklyn will join me in calling for this action. It is clear we need a full and comprehensive investigation into whether this was a regular pattern of behavior in Vito Lopez’s office.”
Common Cause, the good-government group, didn’t call for an end to Lopez’s tenure, but said in a statement he should be investigated by Joint Commission on Public Ethics.
It is often the case that those who feel empowered to sexually harass one or two employees fail to stop there. It may well be that this is only the most recent instance of Assembly Member Lopez’ gross misconduct.”
“We call on the Joint Committee for Public Integrity to conduct the necessary broad investigation to assure New Yorkers and other employees of the State Legislature that such conduct will not be tolerated.
Meanwhile, the two employees who made the complaint remain on the Assembly’s payroll,
but are no longer working in Lopez’s office.
His allocation for staff salaries will be reduced from the current $450,000 to approximately $85,000.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on August 24, 2012 at 3:32 pm, and is filed under Assembly, Ethics. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|