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
Local

'Five Star': A coming-of-age story about Brooklyn's gang…

'Five Star' tells a coming-of-age story about Brooklyn's gang culture at the Tribeca Film Festival.

National

New statue of Penn State's Paterno set for…

By David DeKokHARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - Fundraising for a new statue depicting Joe Paterno "as the man he was and not Joe the football coach"…

Local

NYPD detective shoots partner: DA

A New York City Police detective was arrested early Thursday and charged with driving under the influence while on the clock.

Local

Judge strikes down NY limits on donations to…

A federal judge on Thursday reluctantly struck down New York's limits on donations to independent political action committees as unconstitutional, potentially ushering in a new…

Movies

Tribeca: 'Goodbye to All That' star Paul Schneider…

Paul Schneider talks about his new film "Goodbye to All That," not acting too much and how he'd rather indulge in simple pleasures than play the scene.

The Word

Taylor Swift battles paparazzi daily at Tribeca penthouse

We're entranced by these photos of poor Taylor Swift leaving her Tribeca apartment.

Movies

'A Brony Tale' documents men who are into…

Ashleigh Ball, a voice actress on "My Little Pony," speaks to us.

Movies

Tribeca: Nikki Reed on going funny for a…

"Intramural" star Nikki Reed talks about being the straight person in a broad comedy, spending time in Austin and how "Thirteen" was a "miracle."

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version

MLB

5 infamous pitcher ejections for cheating

Never fear Yankees fans, Michael Pineda is far from the first MLB pitcher to be thrown out of a game for cheating.

MLB

Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda ejected for using pine…

Pineda was thrown out of the game against the Red Sox Wednesday for having pine tar on his neck -- for all the world to see.

NFL

Giants 2014 regular season schedule

The Giants will play five prime-time games — against the Lions, Redskins, Eagles, Colts and Cowboys.

Parenting

New study: Inside the wage gap between boys…

According to a new study, there's a wage gap between boys and girls, with boys earning more allowance for less chores.

Tech

From Apple TV to Fire TV, big changes…

Apple is set to launch a new generation of it's Apple TV, which grossed over $1 billion in 2013. But competition from Amazon and Google looms.

Style

Katy Perry releases a new Claire’s collection

Katy Perry expands her empire by releasing an accessories collection at Claire's.

Style

MAC & Proenza Schouler collection unveiled

MAC Cosmetics is releasing a new collection with Proenza Schouler.