We recently covered the sexual harassment allegations against New York State Assemblyman Vito Lopez. On Labor Day, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver announced that he has asked Lopez to resign from the legislature. Lopez was stripped of his committee chair position in light of allegations of sexual harassment against two females who worked in his office over the summer. Silver announced he personally called Lopez on August 31 and asked that he step down, a week after the scandal broke.
“I think it was clear all along, since the conclusions were reached, that he should resign,” Silver told reporters.
Silver had paid approved payment to the two women in June to avoid further legal litigation, an action he says he now regrets. The two women were paid $103,080 in taxpayer dollars and Lopez pitched in an additional $32,000 of his own money to keep the women quiet.
“We made a mistake,” Silver told reporters from the NY Daily News. “I acknowledge a mistake was made.”
What good is paying the victims if no steps are taken to prevent this from happening again in the future? Lopez should have been punished accordingly the first time around. It would have saved taxpayer dollars and prevented this from coming back on the Assembly. Interesting how Silver only calls for Lopez to resign after the allegations hit the newspaper.
Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob—Los Angeles sexual harassment attorneys