From the Department of things we totally were not expecting comes this release from Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s Office, saying Assemblyman Vito Lopez, powerful chairman of the Assembly Housing Committee, will be removed as chair following allegations of sexual harassment against him. Silver’s letter to Lopez is included below. [bold emphases mine]
“The bi-partisan Assembly Committee on Ethics and Guidance today unanimously recommended that Assemblyman Vito Lopez be removed as Chairman of the Assembly Committee on Housing and forfeit his seniority after reviewing allegations of sexual harassment against him. The findings were delivered to Speaker Sheldon Silver who said he would immediately implement the recommendations.
“The bi-partisan Committee on Ethics and Guidance today delivered to me a report signed by all eight of its members finding that Assemblymember Vito Lopez violated the Assembly’s sexual harassment policy,” said Silver. “I have reviewed the report and will fully implement its recommendations. The members of the committee have fulfilled their obligation to independently and thoroughly review these allegations, and I thank them for their hard work.”
In its report to Speaker Silver, the committee found that Lopez created a hostile workplace which included both verbal and physical sexual abuse and determined that his response was not credible.
In a letter of admonition to Assemblyman Lopez, the Speaker said that he has accepted the findings of the committee and will fully implement its recommendations, including:
- Removing Lopez as Chairman of the Assembly Committee on Housing and banning him from any other committee chairmanship or leadership position;
- Reducing Lopez’s staff allocation through attrition to the amount reserved for a first term member and forfeiting his seniority in the Assembly;
To read the full article at City & State click here.
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