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Poll: Majority of voters want Sheldon Silver to step down

Credit: Daniel Barry/Getty Images Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has faced heavy criticism for the way he handled sexual harassment allegations against former Assemblyman Vito Lopez. Credit: Daniel Barry/Getty Images

Another poll reveals that New York voters want Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to step down because of the way he handled sexual harassment allegations against former Assemblyman Vito Lopez.

According to the Siena College poll, 52 percent of voters said they believe Silver should step down from his post because he "failed the people of New York and Lopez’s accusers by not addressing the issue appropriately and by not being completely honest."

A poll conducted by Quinnipiac University earlier this month showed similar results, with half of New York voters saying they believe Silver should get the boot.

A report released by the Joint Commission on Public Ethics last month showed that Lopez harassed at least eight female staffers and that most of the incidents occurred after Silver approved a $103,000 settlement with two women that required them to keep quiet.

"A majority of Republicans and independents, downstate suburbanites and upstaters, men and women, and a plurality of Democrats and New York City voters believe Speaker Silver should step down," said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg.

The poll results also show Gov. Andrew Cuomo's favorability rating has dropped to 58 percent, his lowest ever as governor.

The Siena College poll was conducted June 9-13 by telephone calls to 804 New York State registered voters. It has a margin of error of +/- 3.9 percentage points.

Silver facing new lawsuit over Lopez settlement

The Assembly speaker is also facing a new lawsuit, the New York Daily News reported.

Robert Schulz, who has reportedly filed several lawsuits against the state, is trying to force Silver to pay back the state for the $103,000 settlement given to two female employees of former Assemblyman Vito Lopez when they accused Lopez of sexual harassment.

Shulz is reportedly alleging that Silver did not go through proper Assembly channels and the settlements were a misuse of taxpayer money.

"The money belongs to the taxpayers of this state and had no business being used for this purpose," Schulz said.

 
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