Vito Lopez scandal remains an issue for Sheldon Silver

Vito Lopez
Assemblyman Vito Lopez stepped down this morning.

Vito Lopez may no longer be Sheldon Silver’s colleague as of this morning, but it seems he may still be the Speaker’s problem.

Calls for investigation into Silver have developed into calls for a coup, as women’s groups, government watchdog organizations, and newspaper editorial boards across the state rail against the Speak.

Thursday’s New York Post covered featured the Speaker with Lopez under the headline “Dirty Old Men.” Silver is being criticized for arranging a confidential settlement with staffers who filed sexual harassment complaints against Lopez.

Assemblyman Micah Kellner, running for City Council, told the New York Times the investigation into the confidentiality agreement needs to include “who proposed it, who wrote it, and who required it.”

Lopez was cleared of criminal charges, but a 68-page report by the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics detailed shocking behavior.

Lopez reportedly pushed his hand “all the way up” the inner thigh of an employee, and two others contracted pink eye after consenting to apply eye drops to Lopez’s infected eyes. At a bar in Brooklyn he apparently grabbed the hand of an employee, and squeezed harder when she tried to pull away. She began to cry and he forced her to count to sixty before releasing her.

He also made a staffer massage his hand after asking her if she “felt guilty” about being a victim of sexual assault in college. While she cried, he said, “I like that you’re holding my hand.”

A recent New York Post report stated that state government corruptions costs taxpayers at least $49,710,630.64. According to The Post, that amount of money could fund two new schools, 100 new fire trucks, or the New York Islanders.

The Post noted that the Lopez settlement cost taxpayers $103,000.

Past attacks against Silver have not been successful. Over a decade ago, Syracuse Assemblyman Michael Bragman attempted to overthrow Silver as Assembly Speaker, and Silver immediately took away Bragman’s title as majority leader. Silver’s allies crushed Bragman without Silver ever emerging from his office to come to the floor to defend himself.

A source apparently told the Daily News that Governor Andrew Cuomo is leaving Lopez’s seat vacant until a primary can be held in September, in order to prevent Lopez from being able to exert any control over his replacement in a special election.

 

Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

US military tried, but failed to rescue journalist…

The U.S. military earlier this year tried to rescue journalist James Foley and other American hostages held in Syria ,but failed to find the captives.

National

Fate of captured beluga whales in hands of…

A Georgia aquarium went to court on Wednesday seeking federal permission to bring 18 captured beluga whales to the United States from Russia.

Local

After Eric Garner death, religious leaders meet to…

Interfaith leaders convened with city officials to discuss what the community can do to help dial down heightened tensions after Eric Garner's death.

Local

'Suspicious' Hamilton Heights fire caused by power strip:…

An extension cord overload caused the deadly fire in Hamilton Heights late Monday that killed a 15-year-old girl and injured at least 12 others.

Television

Billy Crystal to commemorate late actor Robin Williams…

  Comedian Billy Crystal will pay tribute to late actor Robin Williams at television's Primetime Emmy Awards on Aug. 25, the show's organizers said on…

Going Out

Things to do this week in NYC, Aug.…

GAMES Hudson Common Open Aug. 21, 7 p.m. Hudson Common 356 W. 58 St. Free, www.hudsoncommonnyc.com The U.S. Open begins on Monday, but most of…

Movies

Review: Sadly, Matthew Weiner's 'Are You Here' is…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner tries his hand at movies with "Are You Here," a misjudged Owen Wilson-Zach Galifianakis comedy that turns into a drama.

Movies

Review: 'Love is Strange' is not only a…

John Lithgow and Alfred Molina tie the knot in "Love is Strange," but the film winds up being more about living with people than an activist picture.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL defense (DEF)

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL quarterbacks (QB)

MLB

Shane Greene travels unlikely road to Yankees stardom

Shane Greene was throwing a bullpen session on a quiet field at Daytona Beach Community College one day when the ball started moving.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL tight ends (TE)

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Wellbeing

Metabolic syndrome could have a sugar link

Scientists in St. Louis may have found another culprit in metabolic syndrome, which can lead to heart disease and type 2 diabetes.  Uric acid is…

Wellbeing

Another way stress hurts your unborn baby

Mothers know to try staying calm during pregnancy, as stress has been linked to behavioral and developmental problems for their babies. But now, a new…